“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“What is your college major going to be?”
“Do you have a job yet?”
“What are your plans for career development?”
“When are you going to move up?”
Do you remember those questions at different phases of your life?
The question of calling always pursues us. As humans, we long to have direction in our lives, yet not many of us get those Moses and the burning bush moments where it is undeniably clear what we must do for the Lord. I think we all experience a little worry as we make choices, even with all the time and prayer in the world, about whether this truly is within God’s will.
Discerning God’s call in our lives will be a life-long work, but there are tests we can return to over and over again to check our direction against.
What brings you joy?
I think we tend to gloss over this in the Christian life when it comes to calling. We expect work for the Lord to be intense and full of sacrifice, which it very well may be, but consider Hebrews which says “[Jesus] for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.” We can only make the sacrifices our calling may require if we start with joy. Sometimes that great delight breaks our hearts by its sheer intensity, but I believe that Jesus gave us joy because it points us back towards heaven.
Examine your fears.
Going right to the other end of the spectrum, we must be challenged to face our doubts. Take time to write and process these things. Are some of our fears self-imposed insecurities? Are there legitimate doubts that we need to take time to work through and find solutions? Unresolved anxiety only becomes a heavier burden that leads to more confusion, so we benefit by taking time to call fear out and address it.
How is your every-day life?
As Christians, many of us are guilty of waiting for the profound moment to hit, or we simply give up and assume that the others with the big names, success stories, and huge talents will carry out calling for the rest of us average Joes. Jesus is looking for faithful followers, and we are much more likely to walk into our calling if we are faithfully walking out life day-by-day with Him. In the ordinary, are we faithful in pursuit of daily time with the Lord, in practicing gratitude, in keeping a tender heart? Calling is transformed when we are not so caught up in attempting to prove something or do something big; it becomes a natural expression from our daily rhythms built in Christ.
Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.” -Bob Goff