Do you believe that everyone has a calling? What even is a calling? The Webster Dictionary defines it as; “a strong inner impulse towards a particular course of action, especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence”. Wow, that seems pretty intense. The whole thought of having just one particular thing that I am all-consumed, and passionate, about seems so unreal to me. How do I know that I have recognized my calling and am leading the correct path? What if I never figure out what my calling actually is? Does this mean that I am not successful? I am sure that you can tell by the questions I am asking, that this is an extremely difficult concept to me. Mainly because I wonder what it means if I never figure it out?
When I hear people talk about their calling, they always seem so sure about it. It is as if God has personally spoken, and told them exactly what it is. Not only that, but their calling always seems so big and important. I have never felt this before. That is why I think I am so troubled by finding my calling. Nothing that I have to offer seems quite that huge. Sure, I am decently good at many things… but not great. In most sports, I do have this ability to force myself to learn and develop the skills needed to be good enough to play effectively. I have always been very smart, but that does not come without a lot of effort. There have been so many late, or sleepless, night study sessions. I love children, and try to positively influence their little minds. However, I have never been given the opportunity to be a mother. I am a good leader and boss, but again, it has taken so much effort. I’ve been through several leadership training’s, listened to podcasts, and read books to try and improve my skills. I am not putting myself down here. I know that I work extremely hard to be good at everything I do. I just haven’t found that one thing that sets me apart from everyone else. Shouldn’t your calling come easily and be obvious that this is your THING? That this one THING is how you will shine your light for Jesus?
What happens if that one THING that you are extremely passionate about is not your calling? We all have those ‘reach for the stars’ childhood dreams. Mine, was that I wanted to be an elite gymnast. I spent years trying to hone my skills. Guess what, I never became the gymnast that I had my heart set on. Was I decent at the sport? Absolutely. I learned very valuable lessons about hard work and dedication from my time in that gym. As an adult, I have found many things that I am passionate about. I love animals way more than the average person! It would make me so happy to own a farm. One with all of the cows, goats, chickens, pigs, and horses I could handle. Have you ever seen the movie “We Bought A Zoo?” That, would be my dream come true! Having Matt Damon as my love interest would not be so bad either. My point here is, these are both very different, but were also very real passions of mine. Yet, neither have been my calling.
Sometimes, I worry that I missed the signs. That God was speaking to me, telling me what I was to do, and I just did not hear him. With that being said, I do not believe that God operates like that. My God is loving and kind. I think that He would literally hit me in the face with the message that He was trying to deliver to me. After all, He has done it before. I do not believe He would allow me to miss out on something so important.
I have learned a lot about this subject in Annie F. Downs’s book “100 Days to Brave”. In her writing she gives advice on how to figure out what your calling is, and the answer is extremely simple. ASK God! Pray about it! Listen for what God is saying to you and watch for where he is sending you. Sometimes God talks through other people, so keep your ears open and listen. It is tough for me to quiet my mind and focus. I pray that God will help me to hear what He is saying to me and that I will recognize His voice when He speaks. Annie has also taught me that it is not about WHAT you do, it is about HOW you do it. Just because something may not seem big and important, that does not mean that it isn’t. Our ultimate goal here on earth, is to be a shining light for Jesus Christ and to lead as many people to Him as possible. Who is to say… that a thirty-four year old children’s leader, with a soul on fire for Jesus, and a passion for helping people, can’t be that lighthouse.
I may not know what my calling is just yet, but I will continue to search for it. In the meantime, I will shine as brightly as I possibly can for the One that created us all.