Calling?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe empty page taunts me again, the bane of every writer. Beginning, especially when you don’t know where you’re going to go is a daunting task, but I’ve promised myself to try and write a post per week again. So, I’ll brave this ever-decreasing white space. I’ll try and fill it with something meaningful.

The pastor talked this Sunday about work and calling and vocation. (Did you know the Latin root word for “vocation” actually means calling? Me neither). In Sunday School we talked with the visiting college students about majors and minors and roommates and college life. Afterwards my sister found a fellow graduated-at-16, homeschooler going into the chemistry field and chatted for ages. For me it’s almost always easy to pick out the former or current homeschooler in a group. But that’s a rabbit trail if I’ve ever heard one.

“Calling.” I’m not sure if I believe in that word so much as most do. I’ve been admonished from little up to know or find my calling. To pray and “Don’t go to college unless you know what you want for sure.” The pastor said to not get good grades and go to college and get a good job without finding your calling. He said find your calling “And then get good grades and go to college and get a good job.”, which struck me as laughable. God doesn’t call everyone to college, and, I get the feeling that God’s definition of “a good job” would be far different than society’s. But what do I know of holy? What do I know of what God wants, for my life, let alone for yours? Not much. Next to nothing.

I don’t get precise direction like most people seem to. They graduate high school and “God called me to this school.”, and then to this mission field or that job. I got my current job because I was job hunting and it was offered to me. Could that be God’s direction? I think yes. I didn’t pray before accepting it, I don’t know that I’ll know when I am called to leave it. I only know that I do life messily; I make it up as I go along. Is that so wrong?

I have dreams of saving up enough to take at least a year off of work and going adventuring. To meet people, and travel places, and take offers I currently have to refuse because I’m working. You want a companion to bike with you to the Grand Canyon? Yes. There is an opportunity to sail for four weeks on The Flagship Niagra? Yes, I’d love to do that. Let me be a wayfarer and join the WWOOFERs for 6 months. Let me buy a cheap round ticket to another country. Let me meet new people and live frugally, but well. Granted, my roots are deep in this country, in this state, this county, this place. I plan to return. Maybe I’ll never muster up the gumption or the money to leave for a while. But I can dream, right? The pastor said that only 60% of the population is working like that’s a bad thing. Jesus didn’t start his intended job, what he was called to, until he was 30. Somehow (and maybe I’m biased), I don’t think he’d mind so much if I took a year off to explore the wonderful planet and the wonderful people that my God has created. But I’m not ordained, and I don’t always feel his spirit. What do I know of God’s elusive will?

Sometimes I think I’m a broken record, that I write about the same things here too often to be at all compelling or interesting to read. I suppose I’ll apologize…but maybe not. This is my life. Coherency is overrated. I still repeat less than some Bible passages. This blog is supposed to be about God and I, and too often with Him I get rut stuck or go in circles. Life in transition isn’t glamorous or interesting. I had always thought that your late teens and twenties were meant to be the prime of your life. Maybe I’m not living that to it’s full potential? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I know much of anything these days. On that note, it’s time to wrap this post up. The page is not so blank anymore, and hopefully the words that fill it are at least somewhat meaningful, not only to me but also to others. Hopefully they struck a chord. Tell me, did they?

 

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Categories: My Life, rants | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Calling?

  1. Dang, I keep meaning to do a post a week (minimum) myself, and I keep getting behind.

    If it really bothers you to be repetitive, I suspect you’ll have to broaden the focus of your blogging a bit to life beyond the overtly spiritual. Though, I think even the mundane in our lives can have deeper meaning. But, on the other hand, there is no rule against being repetitive on your own blog so if you’re happy I wouldn’t worry what the nebulous public thinks. They’re not paying you. 😉

    I’ve already said before how I agree with your perspective on calling so I am being repetitive here to agree again. The Bible is absent this “calling” or “vocation” idea that people manufacture. When it says in Ephesians, “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received” it is talking about our call to life in Jesus, not a job.

    I strongly suspect that the narrative of “calling” or “vocation” is a particular American (or Western) cultural phenomena. I suspect if you went out in the wild of Africa, or to Asia, and asked a Christian there if they had found their “calling” most of them would give you a funny look.

    You mention how “The pastor said that only 60% of the population is working like that’s a bad thing.” As you touched on, this mentality is why the idea of “vocation” is so prevalent in America. Culturally this country is all about measurable productivity, so you need a measurable job–that calling or vocation–so you can check a box that says you are doing your thing.

    But a lot of obedience to God is found in doing things that don’t fit into a nice category of “working.”

    I guess probably that’s enough agreeing with you 😛

    (My critique of the pastor may be a bit unfair. It is quite true that there are many people in the country being lazy and living on welfare because they like sitting on their couch and watching TV–and perhaps his complaint was only directed at such gross and wanton laziness. But I don’t think you were justifying those people, and neither was I, in suggesting that we need to look beyond some “vocation” metric to see Christian obedience to God in lives.)

  2. Your calling and your vocation may or may not be the same thing. A better way to phrase calling would be to ask what Gods will is for you. Your gifts should give you some clue. God has given you certain gifts for a reason. What makes you come alive? There are many directions you could go and still be in Gods will, as long as you are using your gifts, IMO. There are times to listen to the voice that tells you its time to make a change. I’d like to say more, but my phone is dying.

  3. Ok, I finally have free reign on the computer. There are two great commissions in the Bible, actually, although we don’t always see it that way. One is to work with the sweat of our brow and the other is to spread the gospel. For some people, the two are combined, but not for others. Paul was a tentmaker, but that’s not how we think of him. He may have been a great tentmaker, maybe he loved the job, but God had another job for him. (If Paul had refused his other job, he may have been a blind tentmaker, but that’s not the point, here.)
    But, yes, I think we have callings, tasks that God gives us to do and prepares us for by giving us gifts. The road to our calling may be crystal clear to us or as clear as mud at any given moment. But, if we listen, he will push us in the right direction and when we look back, we can see where he was working in the mundane things of life to take us where he wants us to be, and we might even see that we were fulfilling parts of our calling all along.
    Of course, keeping in mind that the calling that is for all of us is to become more like Christ, and if we get that part right, the other tends to follow naturally, because we are open to God’s leading. Hope this makes some sense, I’m not called to be a three point sermon type of writer!

  4. lost-one

    Great post. It really hit home with me.

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