If you grew up in church you are familiar with this question. Particularly my generation sought to find their “calling” in life. We worried we wouldn’t find it and thus waste our life doing things we weren’t “called” to do or we would do the wrong thing. We thought God had one thing for us to do in our lives as our main occupation and if we weren’t doing that we were out of God’s will, but the ownness was on us to figure out what that was and not miss it. This produced so much unnecessary guilt and pressure. If you were highly favored of God maybe he would call you to be a pastor or missionary. That’s what I grew up believing. My whole life I thought I was supposed to be a Christian counselor. I studied psychology in college and intended to go to grad school but we were blessed with Sam before I could do that. I knew motherhood was also something God wanted for my life but I saw it as something I would do until I went back to school to pursue my “real” calling because in my view you could only have one calling on your life. So, for years I was looking for an opportunity to go back to grad school and become a counselor. I actually applied to grad school and I’m in the process of pursuing that but recently God showed me something life changing. I am called to only one thing in my life and yet I am called to many things. Let me explain.
God has called us to be in relationship with Him. We are “called” by God to be in communion with Him. It’s not about what I do, it’s about loving Him and being his child. God is more concerned with me listening to his voice and spending time with him than he is about what occupation I have. In the book of Colossions Paul was writing to the church, most of whom were slaves. He tells them to do whatever they do as if they are working for God. God can’t have “called” them to be slaves and yet he encourages them to do their absolute best in the job they have been given. Most of the heroes of the Bible were not in vocational ministry, they were employed in a wide variety of jobs and God used them right where they were and even put them in those jobs for his purpose. Even Jesus was in construction for most of his life before he spent three years traveling around teaching. The teaching was important, obviously, but so was the construction or why would he have spent the vast majority of his life doing it. There is not hierarchy of jobs in the Bible.
We are all called to full time ministry in whatever job we find ourselves. And not just in our jobs but in our whole lives. Sometimes people get so focused on their “calling” in life that they neglect their family or friends. We ourselves are called not just to an occupation or volunteer role in the church but into relationship with God and with those around us. Love God and love people. God has called you to be in relationship, not to try to find some cosmic ideal job for your life. In my life, this is life changing. God has called me to relationship not to occupation. It’s not about whether I am a counselor or a stay at home mom, it’s about my relationship with God and other people around me. Am I creating community and sharing God’s love with those around me in whatever I’m doing, be that church work or running errands? Both are my calling and both are equally important. Being a stay at home mom is not the thing I do until I can do the thing I’m called to, it is the thing I am called to for this moment. I am called to many things at the same time, to my family, to my church and to my whole life.
So, bottom line is God is not a puzzle to figure out. You don’t have to worry about finding your calling because you already have. You are called. It’s not about what you do, it’s about Whose you are.