Some of you are about to think, "Here she's goes again." But hopefully there are at least a few of you out there who need and want to hear this today!
At our church we have "community groups." We meet in a person's home with a group of 10-20 people and do different spiritual studies. Well this semester my group is going through a study called "Nucleus." Bascially, it takes you through a bunch of questions and conversations to help you figure out how God made you completely unique and set you apart for a specific purpose. As you can imagine, this study is right up my ally! I believe God is a God of love, and he doesn't just give us a purpose, but he gives us a passion for our purpose! He wants us to enjoy life, and to be able to show and share that joy with others! How can you share love and joy if you are miserable because of your career?
I feel like I have a couple of different callings on my life. One of them is to design. I love designing. Nothing makes me happier than to see a room come together just as I pictured it in my mind's eye. I find joy, fulfillment, purpose, and encouragement as I pick paints, choose furniture, and come up with creative ways to make each room as unique as the person using it. I get up every day and am excited about the job that I get to to do.
But I also feel like I have another calling on my life. In our study, the leader stated that a great way to figure out your passion is to know what gets your heart beating faster. What topics of conversation are you completely engaged in? When you go to Barnes and Noble, which subject matter to you head toward? All great questions to ask if you're trying to figure out what your passion is. So, we covered those answers and we came to the next question in the book. It said "If you could snap your fingers and know that you could not fail, what would you do?" Well, as soon as the question was read and people started answering- "I'd be a nurse," "I'd open an orphanage," "I'd want to help others eat healthy" . . .my heart started beating out of my chest! I wanted to scream (in a helpful encouraging way, not an annoyed, harsh way) "Then, let's do it!!!!" These things you're looking at as dreams can become goals. They can be achieved!
I feel I am called to to help others realize they can achieve their wildest dreams!
After the question that got my heart pumping, then came a question that got my blood boiling. Ok, not boiling, but I was pretty annoyed with it. The question asked- "If there were no obstacles (money, education, ect) and you could dream your biggest dream, what would you want to do?" I understand that the goal was just to get people thinking about what their passions are, but to me this question is not reality. There are always going to be obstacles, nay sayers, set backs, and failures. . .ALWAYS. Even when you're doing what you're made to do, not everything perfectly falls into place. But here's the thing- when you are pursuing a God given passion and purpose, the set backs don't keep you from moving forward or trying again. The key is to find something you love so much, that you continue to work at it, even when it's not easy. There is always "work" involved, but when you love what you're doing "work" takes on a whole new meaning. Your "work" becomes your "calling." Merriam Webster states that work is: "the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood." A calling is defined as: "a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence."
Do you see the difference there? Work is strictly physical or mental. A calling brings in an emotional and spiritual element. Work supports you, a calling spurs you. One is performed as an obligation to survive while the other is an opportunity to thrive. Work impacts the present, a calling impacts eternity. I believe that our work and our calling should be the same thing. We spend 1/3 of our life "working," so why not make it something we not only enjoy but that will have a lasting impact? You know you can instantly tell when someone hates their job. They're cranky, crass, and cold. But the person who loves their job can share a smile, joy, and maybe even Jesus with the people they come in contact with.
Right now, the best way I feel like I can help others is to share this message and to continue to strive toward my own callings. And hopefully as I achieve different things, people will be inspired by my story. It won't be a story of instant success and easy living. It will be a story of faith, failures, hard work, set backs, perseverance, victories, and a belief in something bigger than myself. . . . Because, really. . .a story without all those things is just boring.
So, what does your story look like? It's time to make your work and your calling one. . .don't you think?