Encounter: Slowly read through God’s Word in Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, first read chapter 8 in its entirety and then meditate on verses 28-30 in The Voice Translation
One of the games my siblings and I loved to play when we were kids was “The Game of Life.” Maybe you remember the TV commercial jingle how you “…can be a winner at the game of life.” With each spin, I looked forward to choosing how many kids I would have and changing up the blue and pink pegs depending on how I was feeling about family that day. I dreamed about how I would come home to the Tudor style home with my sports car in the driveway with no shortage of paper money to pay the bills.
My life turned out quite different than the game. I went from serving in the Army, to serving the poor, to being a working mom, living in modest homes, with owning no home when I was in missionary service and divinity school, a minivan and like most of us worrying about financial security. My career path would take several twists and turns leading to the pastorate. The most significant loss I would also experience is the passing of my only child. I never imagined I would have to take my pink peg out of the car. One thing is clear, life is not a game to be played, it is a journey that takes us places and has us doing things we could not have imagined.
Discovering what we are supposed to do with our lives is not as easy as we thought it would be when we were growing up. Most of us grow up without a compass to guide us in answering the most life-impacting question, What is my calling? What complicates it is a culture that values independence, consumerism and entertainment.
As Christ followers God reveals a different pathway for us with a different value system that begins with sensing God’s movement deep within and giving us eyes to see the world around us through His. A calling is not just a career, it is a way of seeing the world with the eyes of the heart.Our calling is more of an invitation to a journey. The experiences we have on the way prepare us for how we serve in the future and most times we are given just enough light to know where our next step will take us.
Jerry Sittser writes, “We discover our calling, then, not by trying to plan our life out ten years in advance but by being attentive to what God is doing through immediate circumstances and in the present moment. Over time our sense of calling will unfold simply and naturally, as scenery unfolds to backpackers hiking their way through the mountains. Rarely will we be able to see the whole pathway stretched out before us at any one time. Sometimes we will only be able to see far enough ahead to keep going.”
So we will keep going! This Sunday we will be talking about how we discern our calling in life and how our deepest motivations, talents, life experiences, open and closed doors and God’s voice in community are sign posts along the path leading us to living God’s will for our lives. God is faithful who has called us to this so be encouraged, “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.” (Romans 8:28 The voice)
On this journey with you,
Reflect: “A calling is a way of seeing the world with the eyes of the heart” and comes from a deep and intuitive sense of what is wrong in the world and how God wants to make it right through you. When you look around, what do you see with the eyes of your heart?
Encourage: How has community played a role in helping you discover your calling? Do you need guidance now for encouragement in your calling? Maybe your voice can help someone else read the “sign posts” on their journey. Read Jerry Sittser’s book, The Will of God as a Way of Life” and give it to a friend, spend time with a spiritual director, pastor or friend who can help you see where your path is taking you today.
Gather: Discuss in your small group the difference between a career and God’s calling. Why is this distinction important? Pray for each other that you may begin to discern your journey of living into God’s calling for your lives.