How To Find Your Calling
By Bridget Vogel-Gregory
What is your calling? It is a question that strikes every Christian to their core at least once during their faith walk. It’s one that can cause us to reconsider everything we’ve ever done and everything we might do. Generally speaking, the heart of humanity itself cries out for a reason why we occupy this planet. We search everywhere for answers, often determined that this calling is fulfilled in a line of work, in having a family, or in attaining some kind of recognition or success. Yet when all of the things we do are boiled down, I would argue the majority of us still find ourselves dissatisfied.
We were all created for something. As Christians, we know that we serve a God whose very essence is creativity. He speaks something unique to each of us. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul reminds us that we were created because of God’s almighty purpose and grace. God colours in the outline of your form with dreams, hopes, and desires straight from His heart. However, as we move through our lives, we forget the innocence and purity of those things that make us unique and begin a never-ending game of comparison and questioning. We sink into feelings of inferiority or inadequacy if we aren’t making enough money, haven’t achieved any kind of recognisable award, or don’t make it swiftly through the levels of the rat race.
In a recent RELEVANT Magazine article entitled Your Calling is Closer than You Think, Karen Yates wrote, ‘we have an expectation that our calling is discoverable…we’ll find it one day, eventually, and our lives will never be the same.’
I believe many of us wish this process looked like Veronica Roth depicted it in her noted Divergent series. We could take a test to determine where we belong in the world, gather in a room and make our choice, though not immune from societal, familial or economic pressures.
Indeed, who decided that our calling must be some kind of profession, title or role? We’ve clothed the term in an idea that it’s about what we do with our lives, rather than seeing that, beneath the layers, calling is entirely about who we are.
I want you to stop for a moment and consider this question: what stirs your heart? If money was no object, and family expectations held no weight if you were completely free to do whatever you wanted in this world, what would it be? When posed with that question, many of us have difficulty being honest. And if you are one who can answer that question, but immediately start to qualify the why and why not’s, put those thoughts on pause.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23
Hang on to the dream.
Why have I asked you to do this? Because the answer you give is one of the many colours God created you with. That dream is a desire of your heart and Psalm 37:10 clearly tells us that it is God who gives us those heart desires. That Psalm also says that we must delight in the Lord to see those desires actualised.
The point that God made through Jesus, and continually reinforces as He strips away our religion emphasising the relationship with Himself, is that it isn’t about what we do. The Gospels make it clear that Jesus had two nonnegotiables: loving the Lord God with His entire heart, soul and mind and loving people as Himself.
Jesus could’ve been preaching in a synagogue, having dinner with tax collectors, healing a blind man, or taking a boat trip across a lake. It didn’t matter what he was doing; His calling was always the same: love God, love people.
Come back to that dream that’s in your heart, or the thing you’ve always wanted to do, but set aside because life got in the way. If you have been delighting yourself in the Lord, He’s given you a desire to pursue that thing, whatever it is. However, that thing is not your calling. Your calling is loving God and loving people through whatever it is that you do.
So long as we are loving God and loving people, we can ask God to grant us those desires and fulfill those plans as David prayed in Psalm 20:4. We can be assured that all things work together for the good of those who love God, or who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Things that you enjoy doing can serve the purpose of God! It’s a crazy thought, I know, but it is the truth.
We have to keep in mind that all things might be lawful, but not necessarily helpful (1 Corinthians 6:12), but if we are truly pursuing a relationship with God, set in great community, and seriously following after Him, we won’t desire to go after things that are outside of God’s heart. If you are struggling to choose a direction afraid of being outside the will of God, or a calling you thought you had changes direction, take a breath and relax.
Are you loving God? Are you loving people? What makes you feel alive? Jesus stated in John 10:10 that His plan was also for us to enjoy life and have it in abundance. Find a new job, hobby or learn something you’ve always wanted to learn if it will bring you joy! Then give glory to God doing it wholeheartedly (Colossians 3:23).
Don’t stress about an unnecessary quest to find this enigmatic calling. God isn’t out to make this life complicated. Love God first and let Him remind you of the beautiful dreams He created you with. Love people second, and do so while on the journey of actualising those dreams. Herein you’ll find you’ve found your calling.