What is God’s dream for your life? The answer is your vision of God’s calling on your life, your specific, unique calling. This calling includes your career but is more than that. The Apostle Paul wrote “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). The word “handiwork” means creation or masterpiece. In essence, each individual is God’s one of a kind masterpiece, hand crafted by God to make a positive impact on the world. So how does a person discern their calling?
Pray. I will never forget a tiny prayer chapel on the campus of Taylor University in Indiana. I was about to graduate with my business degree. I was investigating law schools for my next step. Alone in that prayer chapel, I experienced a strong call to vocational ministry. Now, someone else could experience a call to the business world, or to be a entrepreneur, craftsman, or teacher. It was not an audible voice, but God directed nonetheless. I dare you to pray regularly “Lord, what do you want me to do?” God called Moses to be an emancipator, David to be a giant killer and Paul a new testament writer. What comes after your name?
Embrace your passion. I believe God hardwires passion into us. I chuckled recently when I thanked our tax person for her work and she responded that she enjoyed doing tax preparation. I do not want to overstate this, but I honestly think I would rather receive a beating than work full time doing people’s taxes! My wife is a therapist and listens to people hour after hour every work day. I get some of that role in my job but not every day and not six to eight sessions in a row. Despite the heaviness of her work, she enjoys helping people through her gifting. Years ago an older man told me “find what you would enjoy doing for free and find a way to get paid for it.” That is great advice.
Get honest about your abilities. I could have a driving passion to become a professional singer but I do not have that ability. It is a mistake to tell children they can be anything they want to be, because that is not true. There needs to be God given talent for certain vocations. Honestly, every talent or gift is a sacred trust from God. In contrast, it is painful to watch auditions on shows like America’s Got Talent when someone does not realize they do not have a particular talent. Be open to feedback from others. Wise people, who care about you, can be very helpful in keeping you from wasting time on roads that are clearly a dead end. Prayer plus passion plus honest ability assessment leads one to their sweet spot of service for God.
I find myself challenged by author Greg McKeown’s question, “If you could do only one thing with your life right now, what would you do?” (Essentialism, 34) As you wrestle with this question my hope is you will begin to live the life that you were meant to live.
Derek Dickinson is the Pastor at Journey Christian Church. Insight is sponsored by Tanana Valley Christian Conference.