Many years ago in the midst of my frustratingly obsessive pursuit of “ministry” (a worthy discussion in itself for a future post) a wiser more lived mentor said to me “if you’re called to this kind of life it won’t matter what you do or how hard you try you’ll never get away from it”. At the time it appeared to me a cynical statement but over these last years I’ve realized they weren't being negative at all, they were leaning into the wonderful all things work together for the good of those who love him God that we worship.
We are all in some way, falling forward into a calling so natural to us we can't even see it.
Questions around calling and what God is doing in one’s life have been a conversational magnet in my travel, possibly because it’s the root cause of so much discomfort and dislocation in our lives. In almost every conversation I’ve had with others it’s been so crystal clear what they’re called to that it’s surprising to me that they can’t see it themselves. And I’ve many times had mentors and friends say exactly the same thing about me.
The truth is, your calling has been active in you since your birth. Your mind, your emotions, your desires have wired you to walk in a particular garden of dreams since your first thought and every aspect of your journey since then has been God’s invitation through Christ to recognize it earlier rather than later. Because when you do you will come alive in a way you never would have without it.
It's not your pre-determined destiny to outwork perfectly according to forethought details. It's an invitation to partner with your Father in outworking your calling with color, personality and uniqueness.
Many of us however, deny the gravity of it's fullness because we feel as though our calling should be hard, full of self denial or more religious than it appears to us. The truth more often is that God has given us a great desire for the very thing he’s called us too. True sacrifice in that sense doesn’t exist in the kingdom because how can it be a sacrifice when we gain something of greater worth than what we’re leaving behind?
The reason you're blessed with more than you give is because through it the Spirit illuminates in you every divine strength necessary for creating a greater future in that area. Your calling is that “sweet spot” where your gifts awaken and you find unnatural reserves to keep going even when that going is tough.
It makes you alive, not because it's easy, but because it's pentecost-full and exciting.
Your calling is a vocation that constantly gives you life, even when it’s exhausting. Because it’s the place you connect most easily with the beauty and reality of the Designer.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
These exciting and fulfilling works aren’t your own. They’re tailored to you but they don’t originate in you, they’re your Pentecost-full endeavors, your invitation into the divine co-labour of Christ. But the resurrection of our heavenly vocational life is the destination beyond the journey of the cross.
Our nature is to evaluate our success according to money and influence. God evaluates success through the framework of relational fulfillment, redemption and the reconciliation of creation. Enter the “mad” success of the cross and the reason many of us never see the great fruition of our calling.
So in the world of God’s upside down kingdom we trade worldly success for an explosive inner life, deeper relationships with others and intimacy with him. We lift up the cross to creature comforts and take up the resurrection in an ordinary life that inhales and exhales eternity.
Is your more grace empowered life on call waiting? How do you know? Is there something that drives you, fuels a God dream, something that when you do it you come alive and others around benefit from it beyond your natural ability? Don’t think about the cost for a minute or how scary it is. Imagine the possibilities are endless because God is. Imagine God mailing you a letter today saying he’s got every detail and dollar covered, what would you feel your next step would be?
Then go, trust him, and believe that he really did mean it when he said he has prepared an abundant life and good works for you to do.. Live an extraordinarily ordinary life with the kind of peace in circumstance that will confound the world.
Your wild and absurd hunch may just be the ignition that redirects history for another of God’s created yet to find his love.