Posts Tagged ‘calling’

My Unique Calling

March 8, 2011

A few years ago I heard the question asked in a bible study “What is God calling you to do that only you can do?”  When I thought about that at some length it became apparent to me that there are indeed some vocations that only some people can do with great effectiveness.  When I look at those things only I can do, it certainly narrows the field of possibilities, clarifying my choices.  For instance, if I am in a field where a license is required, only license holders can do what I do.  If specialized life experience is required to have credibility, only those with that life experience can do that job credibly.  If certain education is required, only those with that education can do it, etc.  Expanding on that thought, where should I minister as a vocation or avocation?  I can look at my background.  Do I belong to an ethnic group that gives me credibility with that group?  Do I speak a language that allows me to minister to those who speak that language as their first language?  Do I have membership in a group that gives me an entrance to its meetings?  Do I belong to a professional group that gives me voice with them?  Do I have a unique life experience or even a disability that gives me insight into and fellowship with certain groups of people?  All these questions can give me insight into a certain vocation, ministry or calling where God may be leading me because I would be doing something “only I could do” with credibility and maximum effectiveness.

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Doing my Best

March 8, 2011

Once in awhile I like to examine my life and see where I’ve come and where I’m headed.  I want to give God my very best.  Of course, I never reach my goals, but we tell students to always reach high, because even if they don’t make it they’ll travel farther than if they reached for the low pickings.  With that in mind, here is my meditation.

Am I giving my best to God in my prayer life?  Do I give God some quality time each day, and do I speak honestly to Him whatever is on my heart?  Do I remember to thank Him for who He is and all He has done in His world and for me personally?   Prayer “on the hoof” is part of “Praying always”, but if thats all I give Him, its superficial.  Do I have an appointment with Him each day?

Am I giving God my best in study and thinking?  So many of us think our education ends when we graduate, but in reality that was always supposed to be the doorway to learning on our own.  Do I really study the bible?  Do I read commentaries so I understand the context and history better?  Do I read learned authors?  Do I study and form opinions about the great issues of the day?  If I spend my time on inane activities and entertainment, I am not giving my mind the food it needs to serve me well, and I’ll live a shallow life.

Do I do my best helping others?  Do I take time to notice what is going on around me?  Do I notice what is going on in the world?  Am I doing something about what I see?  I may not be able to do much about suffering in far off lands, but there is suffering going around me in the people I see every day.  Do I look beyond the surface in the events happening around me in the workplace, in my neighborhood, and in the people I see every day ?

Am I doing my best with my finances?  The money God has given me is His, and He has made me manager of it.  Am I managing well?  Am I conserving and growing what He gave me so that I can financially support worthy projects and help others, or do I use my money mostly selfishly?

Am I giving my best to serve God’s work?  Do I use all the gifts, time and ability He gave me wisely to serve His work in the world?  Its great to serve in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, but if he gave me the ability to manage things, maybe my best service is to be on the board of the ministry that runs the soup kitchen.   If God gave me counseling ability, maybe I should be counseling the patrons of the soup kitchen on a weekly basis.  It all depends on my gifts.  I can’t be what I’m not, but I can be the best me that I am.

Am I giving my best in sharing the thoughts, faith, hope and encouragement God has given me?  Do I offer words of encouragement and hope to those who seem to need them most, whether spoken words or written words?  With texting and e-mail, instant messaging and all, its so easy now to offer someone some words of support.

The way I read the words of Jesus, I think he looks at our lives through two lenses.  One is how much we love Him.  We show that in two ways–our prayer life and our love for others.  The second lens is what we did with what He gave us.

No, I don’t meet my own standards, and for that the skeptic would call me a hypocrite.  But I really do believe these things, and I want to be faithful in trying to attain them.   My reach exceeds my grasp, but may I never stop reaching until I meet Him in Heaven.

Knowing my Ministry

February 17, 2010

When I wonder what is my calling, I have to remember that it may change over time.  I am first of all a servant of Jesus.  Whenever I see needs in the lives of the people around me, or needs in the ministries I support, I am receiving a cue from Jesus.  In filling these needs I have noticed, I will be walking in the ministry He has prepared for me.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Eph 2:10

What Do I Want

September 21, 2009

When it comes to the world of work, I think our default setting is “What do I want?”  We ask children from a young age what they want to be when they grow up.  However, while what we like and what we are good at are similar most times, questionnaires and tests to find out what we like may be asking the wrong question when we are trying to find out our vocation or calling.  It is indeed useful to know our talents and gifts, but the next question ought to be, what kinds of things are God and his people doing around me.  When I see a field of work or organization or ministry that grabs my passion, then I need to ask what is my fit in that place.  What can I do to advance the work of this entity with the gifts and skill sets I possess.  We ought to be asking, “where can I be the best I can possibly be for God?”.  We love God and the more we love Him, the less we want to give him mediocrity.  Asking how to give Him the very best development of everything He has given me, is a different question than “What do I Want?”  Its a God-centered and God’s work centered question rather than a “me” centered question.

The Right Tool

August 24, 2009

Mother Teresa often said “I want to be a tool in the hand of God.”   It got me to thinking about tools.  There are a few tools that get used often, and they hang in a prominent place.  I guess in the society of tools, these would be the “movers and the shakers”.  But most tools spend a lot of drawer time, not being noticed, and not being seen.  At just the right time, for just the right job, that tool will make all the difference in the world, because it will be “the right tool for the right job.”  If I want to be a tool in the hand of God, I’ve got to spend a lot of drawer time waiting for Him to use me.  During that time I can pray and worship and prepare to be used.  However, I can’t climb out of the drawer and start doing a job on my own.  I can only work correctly if I’m in His hand.  Any other attempts on my part to get out of the drawer just land me on the floor.  It kind of gives a whole new meaning to the verse from Isaiah, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  I need to wait for his hand to guide me–then I will feel His use of me, the effort will be His and not so much mine, and it will be God who gets the glory.  Thats the way it should be.