Yes, this is God calling. I wanted to give you the plan. Here’s exactly what I’d like you to do . . .
If only it were that easy! The idea of having a “calling” in life can feel exciting to some and intimidating to others. What does it mean to be “called”? Isn’t that just for pastors or missionaries? And if we do have a calling, how do we discern what it is?
This month we’ll be exploring calling on my blog so stay tuned and engage in the discussion. My hope is that God uses this forum to speak directly to you–about who you are and his call on your life. So to start things out, here’s an excerpt adapted from my brand new Flourishing Faith book Embrace Your Worth:
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Vocation comes from the Latin root vocare which means “to call.” In this sense, as Parker Palmer explains in Let Your Life Speak, “Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear.” Further, says Palmer, vocation is “a gift to be received.”
Pastor and author Fredrick Buechner has defined vocation this way: “The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
What is your vocation? What calling do you sense? God has a calling in your life that matches your deepest passions and joys with the world’s deepest needs. As you seek him, attentively listen, and obey, you’ll discover and live within that unique calling over the big-picture scope of your life.
There’s also a “daily calling” in your life. God calls you in your situation with your daily tasks to be an image-bearer, a light-bringer, an obedient disciple.
Discerning your calling means prayerfully considering two ongoing questions:
• What is God calling me to with my life? What are my unique passions and deep joys? How might God be asking me to re-evaluate how I spend my time and energy? How might he be drawing me to step out of my routine and directing me to align my gifts and passions with his redemptive work in the world?
• What is God calling me to today? Even though it may seem menial, normal, or unimportant, how can I answer this calling in obedience and worship?
Consider this stunning truth God spoke to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
These words are specific to Jeremiah’s situation—to his unique calling as a prophet. But the principle is the same for you: God had a purpose in mind for you even before you were even born! He has a job for you to do! He has a calling for your life. Your life has a purpose. Will you listen to God today? Will you live each moment within a sense of vocation?