Thursday, May 31, 2012

What Callings are Not

A calling. Maybe you want one of those--those Messages from Above telling you exactly what to do with your life. Maybe you really don't, afraid it would mean you'd have to leave home and go fight the wicked witch. Join me today for part 2 as we look at What Callings are Not.

1. Callings are not necessarily clear cut directives straight from heaven, spoken in a booming voice.

Sometimes they can come from a lifetime of hurt in an area that makes us sensitive to seeing certain needs. Sometimes they are an awakening over time to seeing how we fit. Sometimes they are a choice to respond to the unexpected bends our paths have taken

2. Callings are not necessarily singular.

You don’t always have to choose one path over another. You can be called to be a parent at the same time as being a friend to street kids or a blogger or a student. Maybe we can’t do it all at in the same moment. But we can feel called to many things—and even figure out a way to combine several In a way that complement each other.

3. Callings don’t come obstacle-free.

Even if you had a deeply emotional calling experience that convinced you to step onto your path, it doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles or closed doors along the way. Some say God uses closed doors to redirect us, maybe tell us no.  Or maybe those doors tell us we’re onto something big, something hard, something that takes a bit of kicking to knock down those doors.  Good things don’t always come easily. It may get a little messy. Stay convinced of your calling, and let the hard things grow you.

4.  You don’t have to know what your calling is, to even see it, to make a difference.

How many times have I watched the wife of an MAF pilot, who is convinced she isn’t really “called” here, have a widespread influence by just living her life? She may not know how your friendship encourages others; how her behind-the-scenes organizing lessens the burdens of others; how her stability in the home creates the haven for her family in a tough place.

5.   Callings are not necessarily things we can do really well OR things we will hate.

Are you ever afraid like I am, that God will ask you do to the very thing you don’t want to do? Or maybe you want to do something, but aren’t really sure you can. A calling can be something that uses our gifts, our desires (things we do actually want to do), AND our weaknesses (things we just don’t know if we can do them).

When I teach English to the orphans, I know that they aren’t getting the best English teacher. I’m not trained. I don’t have my own ideas. And most of the time, the kids are out of control. But I love these kids, love the chaos, love the mess that I am, all sweaty and overwhelmed as the kids surround me.

What about you? Are you ready to embrace the areas where you fit, but where you still need to grow? To do the things you both want to do, but are most afraid of starting? To knock down the walls that keep you from seeing all the possibilities on the other side?

photo credit, Wistful ~


  1. This post feels like an answer to several questions I have been wrestling with. What a balm to my soul. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit and publishing this in May 2012 for a discouraged missionary wanna-be to read in January 2013 at just the right time.

    ~Jen (ksmedgirl)

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