Do I have a calling on my life?
I am sure everyone, or at least a majority of us has typed something like, 'Do I have a calling?' in to our favourite search engine; hoping that it spits out something that can give direction, so you can, once and for all, have an answer to the question.
I remember getting the text when I was in work. Amy had a friend who had become a Christian. Her friend was worried because she didn’t feel like she had a calling, or at least couldn’t figure it out. Her friend explained to Amy that it seemed every Christian had one or the thought was they should have one, and it was beginning to make the girl question whether she was good enough to be in church.
It’s was a struggle that I could relate to but in the moment I was limited in how to helpfully respond because i was asking myself the same question.
I often think about my Amy's friend.
Years have passed, experiences have happened and now I feel more prepared to provide a constructive answer.
What is a calling?
For most people it means finding the one thing you were built for.
But is that it?
It's just about what I do with my time?
Or is it more?
People see callings as attaining a thing or a position, and although that’s part of it for some, that is not all that a calling entails.
I have went down the road of servitude, taking on roles and doing the grind of being available for as much, and doing as much, as I could. But as positions passed to others, I started to question what I was doing.
I had become concerned with being acknowledged and it was polluting my motives of getting involved in supporting the people in my life and my community. It wasn't about serving, it was about having a title to serve.
Taking time to do nothing, helped me realise that my identity was wrapped up in how many different projects I could do in a week, month or year.
I came to understand that my calling was not my accomplishments, it was what others would say about me when I am not around to hear them.
Will they say that I am a hard worker or stretched thin?
Will they say that I am kind or that I am kind to the ‘right’ people?
Will they say that I am encouraging or that I am smooth talker?
Will they say I am a team player or a game player?
Will they say that I care about the mission or about the benefits of it?
Pushing for a promotion or position can transform all the great things about our personalities and warp them in to a negative and forced effort. I believe this can lead to stress.
My calling is to be the best woman, wife and mother I can.
My calling is to be kind.
My calling is to be fair.
My calling, is to encourage.
Once I realised, 'encourager,' was my list of personality traits, it was as though I had stumbled upon clarity.
Everything began to click.
I had spent years trying to be what I thought everyone else wanted me to be.
Now, I have the foundation I have always desired.
I know who I am.
I am a Jesus follower
I am wacky and I like it.
I am loud and fun.
I keep secrets well.
I care about others.
I love to listen to other peoples stories.
I do not like injustice.
And the one thing that takes the lead, is that I love to encourage others.
Knowing these things about my personality made all the difference and helped me take on life fully and confidently.
Because of our personalities opportunities will continue to come, but it’s not because those roles are our calling.
It’s because we are called to be who we are.
And then we get to ask ourselves, 'Is this role in my wheelhouse?'
We are not what we do.
We are not our positions.
We are our passions.
And we are our actions towards others.
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Be sure to check out our next article here on ‘The Encouragers Life.’
Article written by J. Bingham