Everyone wants to know their calling in life. I am no exception. I floundered through college declaring major after major. While running out of options I thought about dabbling in elementary education.
“Elizabeth! You can’t be a teacher,” my roommate told me. Actually, she yelled at me in a shrill, Code Red tone of voice. “You will scare those precious little children.” Um, no offense taken.
Needless to say she was right. After one semester of sitting in a second grade classroom the feeling was mutual. I scared them and they scared me . . . all the way down to the registrar’s office to choose another major.So after declaring five different majors I settled on business. “You can always get a job with a business degree,” I was told. Except when you suck at business. But I pressed onward. I graduated, found a job, and continued to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Worthy of the Calling
People have longed to live out God’s calling for thousands of years. In fact, Paul wrote, “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call . . .” (2 Thess 1:11, NLT)
Paul desperately wanted these new believers to live lives that mattered. To find their gospel-centered purpose. I think we want the same thing. To live lives that matter. The problem is that many of us live on autopilot. We follow other people’s expectations. We check the boxes:
√ get a college degree
√ get a job
√ get married
√ get a house
√ get some kids
We consume, consume, consume all in the name of the American Dream. Then we wake up one day and wonder, “Did we even ask God for His opinion?”
Finding Your Calling
I eventually found my calling. It just took twenty years to get there. (Yes, I’m a slow learner. Just ask my college academic advisor.) You see, when I was in college I actually wanted to major in English. I had developed a love for all things reading, writing, and language when I won a first grade writing contest. I knew then that I was called to write.
Yet everyone in my life had said, “You can’t make a living writing.” I am still trying to prove them wrong.
The thing about your calling is that you can’t run from it. It chases you. It finds you. It won’t let you rest until you surrender to it. Much like that carton of Blue Bell at 11:00 o’clock at night.
And your calling isn’t always vocational. Calling includes lots of things:
- spending your money wisely
- volunteering your time
- inviting your neighbor over for coffee
- adopting a child
- starting a nonprofit organization
- obeying God in the everyday mundane
I know my calling is more than just writing. It includes loving my husband well and breaking the cycle of divorce that has plagued my family for generations. It involves raising my children to know that loving Jesus means more than just showing up for church on Sunday mornings. It means being a disciple of Christ, which is both costly and inconvenient, but always worth it.
Which brings me to my challenge for you.
Do you know God’s calling for your life? If you don’t, I encourage you to pray about it. Ask others to pray for you too (according to 2 Thess 1:11). This life is too short to sleepwalk through it without a clear calling.
If you know your calling in life, are you living it out? If not, what is holding you back?
- The reality of daily responsibilities?
- Lack of time?
- Lack of resources?
What will it take for God to remove these obstacles?
Finally, if you know your calling and are living it out, I encourage you to pray that God would continue to make you “worthy of his call” and use you for His glory.
Many thanks to Dana for allowing me to guest blog. Feel free to hop over and subscribe to my blog at www.elizabethoates.com