What is a calling? Do you have one? Do we all have one? Or is it only for specific people?
Sometimes I wonder if we overuse the word calling in Christian circles, and it loses some of its importance in the process. Other times I wonder if we elevate it to too high a status and lose some of the importance of what God asks us to do as we serve Him in our everyday life.
I just finished reading a book that made me think more about this. Kelly Minter ends her book Wherever the River Runs with the following words:
“I think our tendency is to believe that God is inviting someone else into the ministry of reconciliation, tapping someone a little more gifted or holy than us for the work. . . . But the reality is that God has called every one of His children to the poor, the outcast, those on the fringes of society, the spiritually hungry. Hardly ever do we feel ready, comfortable with the task, confident in our goodness, or have any idea where the river might run, but – such a sobering reminder – He has called us still.” (emphasis mine).
The last sentence really resonated with me. I think we often struggle with the idea of calling because we don’t feel ready or comfortable or confident. But, God still calls us to serve and to love the world. How we each do that looks different, but it all comes from the same call.
We call it the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39). Elsewhere in His teaching, Jesus calls us to love our enemies as well (Luke 6:27-36 & 10:25-37).
When God sends us to “the poor, the outcast, those on the fringes of society, the spiritually hungry,” He is sending us to live out what we call the Great Commandment. It’s the way we are called to live as followers of Christ. We may not feel qualified or ready to do it in the specific way God gives us to do it, but He asks us to anyway and depend on Him to do it.
When I look at it this way, I start to see the calling God has on my life, on your life, on the life of everyone who claims to follow Him. We are called to love our neighbours and our enemies. It’s not a calling specific to a few “elite” in Christian circles. It’s a calling for all Christians – whatever we spend our time doing.
We do all have a calling. And it is important. That calling is to love – sacrificially, with an attitude of service to those we meet and interact with. It’s a high calling, and it’s worth it.