Calling

Nudges and Stumbles

Lately I have been writing (when I write at all) about DeMolay and not much about faith. If you’ve started following me recently then you may be surprised at today’s subject matter. This was a blog about faith before it was about anything else.

To be more accurate… it is a blog about me 🙂 – in the sense that it is about things I have discovered along the way. Some of these things are factual (I love mysteries and puzzles – answering questions and resolving unknowns). Some are truths I have learned or discovered.

This morning I woke at 3:21 AM. More accurately my insulin pump woke me with an alarm. Because I have struggled the last few days to keep that pump in its automatic mode, I woke to attend to it. And couldn’t find sleep again. So I glanced at my phone and the first thing that I saw was a post on Facebook about following God’s nudges by Marlena Graves. She is a writer and Christian leader for whom I have developed a deep respect and whose writing I find a continuing source of both spiritual nourishment and challenge.

Lately I have been struggling with some mistakes I’ve made… the nature of them is unimportant. But her words helped me disentangle mistakes made about certain things from the broader response of my life to what was clearly a nudge from God to take a fork in the road that led in a different direction. While I’ve doubted the choice from time to time, I have always come back to the reality that God pulled me down a path that I would have never pursued on my own. The path on which I walked was filled with certainty and comfort. This one – despite appearances to the contrary – is marked by doubt and risk in contrast.

I can’t give you a formula for knowing when God is nudging you. This is more than following your dreams. Nor is it taking control of your life. It is, rather, allowing God’s dream to take hold of you. It is surrendering to a journey you do not control and is risky and may not end well.

Abram (as he was then called) was on a journey with his father but then received the call to continue that journey. He made mistakes in answering that call – you and I will, too. But he went because he knew who had called and who had promised. The nudge was enough.

 

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Broken Dreams and Callings

This week I read one of the most unsettling – and liberating – things I have ever read:

Discovering Your Calling Won’t Make You Whole

It is troubling because it speaks to so much of what we spend our adult lives pursuing… purpose, meaning, calling. Why am I here? What am I here to do? We believe that if we find this calling all will be easy – or at least clear.

Andrea Lucado in the above post bursts that bubble. And it should be burst.

So much effort spent on finding our unique calling. So many books written, seminars given, and (yes) money spent on this dream. So much agonizing over my place and purpose. Not pursuing this unattainable dream in a fallen world can free us for better things.

What if our purpose is rather to particularize God’s vision for the world in our lives and relationships?  This is enough of a dream for most of us! I wonder if our striving for our calling and purpose is a slightly off-course attempt to do this very thing? Another sign of the brokenness of the world. But also a source of hope.  As Andrea Lucado quotes Jesus in her blog:

“But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33c

Jesus has done so… therefore I do not have to overcome it. What could be more liberating and hope-filling than that?

Categories: Calling, Faith Journey, Purpose | Leave a comment

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