When a thread or a theme keeps showing up in your life, there is wisdom in paying attention. There have been a number of themes that keep showing up in my life lately through various means and conduits, and one has been the idea of calling. By "calling" I mean finding your God given purpose in this life.
This spring I read Made for More by Hannah Anderson and You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons, and both women brought up the idea that calling is the intersection of your passion and the world's need.
I've been thinking about this idea over the past few months and then a blogger whose writing I've been reading, Edie Wadsworth, shared thoughts on a post titled On Giftedness and Calling (5 Clues to Your Calling). She shared a quote by Tim Keller that I'd love to share with you:
A job is a vocation (or calling) only if someone else calls you to do it for them rather than for yourself. And so our work can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests. Thinking of work mainly as a means of self-fulfillment and self-realization slowly crushes a person. ~Tim Keller
Your job can be your calling, but your interests and giftedness have to intersect with a need or (as Keller puts it) a mission of service for it to be your calling. Now that might sound a little confusing, but let me flesh it out for you in how I've been seeing this in my own life.
Right now my full-time "job" is being a missionary to college students, helping them to come to know Jesus and grow in their walks with Christ. My job has a lot of different facets and I do a number of different things, like meeting with students, leading Bible studies, or connecting with ministry partners. But my life's calling expands beyond my job.
After reading the books above, I've been thinking through the calling on my life and I've been realizing that what I'm passionate about is helping others to know Jesus Christ and to grow in their walks with Jesus, and there is an incredible need for people to hear about Jesus, and Christians want to grow in their walks with Jesus. My interests and a need meet in my job, but I also live out my calling through this blog, sharing with others what I'm learning about Jesus. Writing this blog is one way that I live out my calling: I enjoy writing and communicating and talking about Jesus, and there are people that want to read about others' walks with Jesus.
What might this look like for you, my friend? What are things that interest you and gifts/talents that you have received? And where do they intersect with the world's need? I would encourage you to take time and think about your life's calling. In the words of Edie Wadsworth, "When you use your gifts in the service of others, you've found your life's calling."
Ultimately our gifts and our callings come from The Lord, and He has given us gifts so that we would serve others with them. And you know what? When we live out our calling in the service of others, we glorify God and image Jesus to a weary and broken world. We were made for a purpose, and our work is meaningful and it matters.
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