Such a curious thought, that I would have a calling on my life. A purpose.
Knowing you have a calling can be the most fulfilling aspect of living. Yet, not know what that calling is can be paralysing.
It can be what wakes you up in the morning, but it can equally be what keeps you awake at night.
Calling is something that I very much wrestled with over the years. Am I doing what God wants me to do? Am I all God designed me to be? What should I do next in my career? So many questions in the past, but it is now something that I have absolute peace with. Did I receive some prophetic message? A 'writing on the wall' moment? No. Just a better understanding of what God wants for all of us, and especially for me.
Let's start with the calling that you and I have in common. His Word is full of clues about our calling. In Genesis, it is made clear that we are called to take care of and rule over the earth and all that is in it, this is the Creation Mandate, and it applies to all of us. Furthermore, in Matthew, we are told to go into all the earth and to make disciples. This is the Great Commission, and just like the Creation Mandate, it applies to all of us. We are also told to love the Lord your God with everything that you have and to love your neighbour as yourself.
As you consider your calling you can be sure that the purpose that God has for you will include all of the above. If you are wrestling with whether something is your calling and that something works against your purpose to fulfil any of the above you can be assured it is not what you are designed for.
Does that mean that all of us need to be Ministers? No...and yes. No, in the sense that we are certainly not all called to be employed by a church, preach every Sabbath and have a name badge with the label 'Minister' on it. However, we are all called to do the work of a minister. We are indeed called to share the hope that we have in us, we are to love the Lord and to love each other
God will no doubt call you to a purpose. For me, it is Christian Education. The thought of working with hundreds of children and dozens of teachers certainly is not appealing to everyone, but for me, this is my sweet spot, this is where I find fulfilment. Now, I find myself in a particular Christian school; this is important for someone who finds his purpose in Christian Education. However, I never received a 'writing on the wall' or a 'Road to Dimastas' experience to move here. So what happened that I find myself uprooting my family and shifting to a new school?
It was all about the freedom that I found in my calling.
This is an important aspect to calling. While God will call you to a purpose, rarely does he determine the place, not never, just rarely. Within this purpose we have freedom. In my situation, I was pretty much living the dream in Christian Education. I was at an amazing school, people came from all over the country and even from abroad to see what we were doing at school. I was invited to present our story and philosophy at both Christian and secular education forums and conferences and importantly, my family were very much settled. I was comfortable.
I was then asked to take up a new position in a school that would require me taking a difficult step away from my comfort and to begin the process of leading change once again. At first, it all seemed too difficult and too much like hard work...I had after all put in all the blood, sweat and tears (with the help of many amazing people around me of course) and I was reaping the reward of that work. Leading change is ugly, people get stretched, people often get hurt, and it is hard work, why would I willingly do that again? Especially if I was fulfilling God's calling on my life already, I was fulfilling God's calling on my life by being in Christian Education after all.
The reality is that your calling in not just about purpose, it is also about growth. As my last boss used to say, 'what can I do today to be of more use to Him tomorrow?
If you find yourself at a crossroad and you are looking for answers about your calling, a 'writing on the wall', of course, seek the Lord in prayer and talk to those around you whom you respect. However, also keep in mind that we are designed to grow. Seek out the purpose that gives you fulfilment and pursue opportunities to grow, to be of greater use to Him tomorrow.
Keep your eyes on the purpose God has designed you for and hold loosely to the 'place' (location) and even your 'plan' for that purpose. As stated in Proverbs 16:9, plan your course but allow God to direct your steps. The more that you understand your purpose the more agile you can be with the 'plan' and 'place' side of fulfilling your purpose.
A central theme of calling is freedom. Yes, God has designed you for a purpose but He gives you freedom within that calling. You can take it easy, or you can seek the track which leads to growth. I chose the growth path. There were many details within this path that I hadn't sorted out. However, as He does when we 'let go and let God', He took care of every last detail.
A central theme of calling is freedom, the choice to choose either comfort or growth. Choose well.