Ever hear the same message over and over from different sources within the same period of time? Turn on the car radio and hear a snippet of something that speaks to you and afterward (or before, if you don’t want to hear it) you press scan to find a new station and there’s a song with the same basic premise? Then it comes up in other ways throughout your week - maybe in a Sunday sermon or book you’re reading. That has been my situation recently. The message all over my radar lately has been pointing my attention to this pivotal question:
How are you living out your calling?
When something calls us to dig deep into our hearts, we often yield to a default pattern of thinking. My default usually plays out like this: Question posed. I squirm. Then I yield to the "Guilt Mindset":
But if I stopped there, and didn’t even take the time to listen to what He was actually asking, I would’ve missed out on so much. One thing I absolutely know about God is that He always shows up with an alternative. I’ve often referred to it as Plan C. If I am quick to listen to His thoughts, I will be less likely to become trapped by my own. When I slowed down long enough to consider the question, I could begin to hear His heart behind it. While the term calling seems lofty and often long-term, its meaning to me in this specific situation was directed at the God-given passions He has placed in my heart. The things I love and delight in. How was I tapping into those things? In light of this, following a sigh of relief, my attitude toward the question changed entirely.
Consider this illustration. You’re the parent of a kid who has asked and asked for a specific toy. You buy them the toy and they play with it a little but then it quickly ends up on a shelf (or in my house, on the floor, collecting dust and cat hair). They barely even figured out all the cool things the toy can do! But for whatever reason, they put it down and went on to something else, not even recognizing the joy they were missing. I feel like God in His loving and gentle way is saying to me: I’ve given you this gift. This desire of your heart. This passion. Pick it up, dust it off and let me show you how to do the unimaginable with it!
In a nutshell, I love to create. To write. To encourage others. To teach. Over the course of my life I have had so many wonderful opportunities, especially in my working career, to do these things. But now in my day-to-day, I often leave the gifts on the floor or in an effort to de-clutter, I’m quick to put them on the shelf...save them for the right time...the new year perhaps?
But today my heart was stirred. The more I listen, the more it makes sense to me. I’m not sure what living this out in my current season will look like, but I know I don’t want to miss it. Today it looked like listening, showing up at my laptop with coffee in hand (of course) and typing these words on a page. It’s been the most freeing, relaxing and enjoyable time that I have had in quite a while. True delight. I’m excited to follow His lead – trusting that He knows the desires of my heart better than even I do and that he has unimaginable ideas for what He plans to do with those desires.
PS. My writing from today was actually a lot longer, so if this topic spoke to you in some way, stay tuned for a few more related posts.