Today I would like to address what it means to discern one’s calling in life. Many of us can go through our entire life with successful careers or vocations without answering our calling. How is this possible? We can make good decisions on life’s journey that insures a lucrative career in a field that is thought highly of by the majority of people, yet there is something missing. There is still something that gnaws at you that you can’t quite explain – something that is unsettling – or leaves a little hole inside you that nothing seems to fill. Nothing materialistic fills this void.
What might be missing is your calling. That best part of you that God intended to be included in your earthly journey. Somewhere along the way, we chose to ignore the small voice inside each of us to answer the call that God extended to us. This might have been to be a great musician, a teacher, a preacher, a doctor, a social worker, a mother or father, or the best of something. Many people believe that a “call” is only about being called to ordained ministry, but this is not true. God calls us too many things. I believe we are called to a greater purpose. It is our job to discern our calling.
That being said, we need to redefine calling to a broader meaning. Determining a calling on one’s life is to understand God’s purpose for one’s life and respond in joy and thanksgiving. This can mean a vocation, or it can mean something much simpler such as an ability to undertake a task as a prayer warrior, or the friendly receptionist at the hospital who greets patients coming into the hospital.
Once we recognize our calling, our response can only be one choice. We must answer in the affirmative. No matter how small or large the call may be, God requires of us the same response. We are to answer with yes in our heart and thanksgiving in our very spirit knowing that we have answered God’s call on our life and we are on God’s path.
Sometimes answering God’s call does not require much change. We are already doing what we need to be about. It is having an ahah moment that reassures us we are on God’s path for our life. Sometimes answering God’s call requires much change. It may mean more education, leaving a good job, taking a risk, changing a primary relationship or much more. Whatever is required, God will remain with us during the whole process. When I answered the call to ordained ministry, the process took ten years from start to finish. I never felt I was alone in the process. God was present at every step of the way.
If you have a calling that you have said, “not me God”, I encourage you to say “why not me” and let God lead. The ride might be bumpy, but the rewards are indescribable.