“Calling” – I’m not crazy about the term because it produces a lot of angst for some people. I admit I have used it many times for lack of a better word, but in recent years I have grown tired of how it is thrown around.
It creates unnecessary pressure for those who may wonder if they even have one. For some, it can become a frustrating quest and a breeding ground for feelings of inadequacy. I have encountered people who, because they do not have a job, title or position that is focused on a specific cause, struggle with feeling “less than” those who do.
That is partly due to how this term is used. I have heard countless times in church, read many times in books and articles that it is important for everyone to “find their calling” as if it is hidden somewhere.
It is true that there are some people whose passions are very focused and translate into a job or position in life which makes it clear to everyone else what their “calling” is. For example, I have a dear friend whose passion is to spread joy. She has found a way to do that by bringing hula-hoops around the world and sharing the gospel and love of God everywhere she goes. It is pretty evident that she has “found her calling.” When you meet her, passion exudes from her. (Her name is Carissa, and this is her website – you should check it out!)
On the other hand, there are many people who are using their God given gifts and passions to impact the world around them positively without a title or position or what would be considered a “calling” in the sense that it is so often used. Their “calling” is much more subtle than a missionary for example.
My husband is a great case in point. (Fortunately he doesn’t read my blog on a regular basis because he’d probably kill me for using him as an example!) He is a business owner who uses his knowledge, his love of people and his passion for excellence and success in order to provide security and provision for his family and employees. Is his “calling” to run a quick-service restaurant? No, not really. It is difficult to sum up his calling. But every day he influences his team members by being an example of a godly business leader. Future leaders are learning from him. He has been an example of a faithful husband and father to me and our children. He helps advise me as I lead the non-profit For the Girls International. His scope of influence is far and wide, but he is not in the ministry and would not really even consider himself to have a “calling” in the sense that we hear it used.
Some may see what I do with For the Girls International and surmise that my calling is to encourage women. That is true, but if you asked my husband, he would tell you my calling is also to be his wife and mother to our children. On a day when I am encouraging someone suffering from depression one might think my calling was to counseling or coaching but it is just part of what I believe my “calling” is. I am wildly passionate about all of those things and believe they are all part my calling.
So, in the broader sense of the term I would define my calling to be this:
My calling is to be led by the Holy Spirit daily, ever becoming who He has made me to be, allowing what I “do” to naturally evolve from there.
It’s really just a matter of semantics but sometimes words can confuse people and cause unnecessary pressure. I would really like to hear your take on the whole idea of having a “calling.” Please share your thoughts in the comments.