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May 31, 2011

How to Discern a Call

The phrase "discerning a call" has come up several times in different situations over the last month. And it's starting to make me think.

One instance was last week at a church council meeting (where I take minutes). The new intern introduced himself and said he was there trying to discern his call. He's just a young kid trying to figure out if a life as a pastor is what God is leading him to do. Wow.

Another instance was just today. While the kids napped, I watched Oprah's last show from my DVR. Another wow. It was incredible.

(Sidenote: I have not been a big Oprah fan for awhile - probably for the last 10 years. I stopped watching when her shows got a little too new-agey for me. I felt like she was preaching something I didn't agree with - you are God, God is you kind of stuff. I'm all for people being responsible for their own lives and for what they put out there into the world that affects others. But I'm not God and God isn't me. And thank God for that.)

This last Oprah show, however, was inspiring. She talked about her work, her life, what she's learned over these 25 years. And at one point she talked about her work being her calling. And how we are all called by God (the one, Alpha and Omega, Christian, Jesus, God) to serve the world in our own unique way. Each is different, one is just as important as the next, some parallel our career paths and some don't, some are big and some are small. But we all have a calling.

She said that over the years of interviewing people, the one common theme with those who had discerned their call and were living it out was that they got juiced about it - it was something they loved, that filled them as well as others, that gave them the motivation to continue, that they felt at peace and joyful about when they were doing.

I'm starting to think that maybe God is telling me it's time to figure mine out. My calling.

I'm certain that it's not being a pastor or missionary or anything big like that. That's not something I could do.

I thought maybe it was being a mother, but I'm not sure that's my calling as much as it is who I am.

A calling is some way that I, with my own unique gifts and passions, serve others and serve the world. Just like our mission at church says. And it's something I love to do and am good at and fills me as much as others.

So what's my calling?

I know the first thing that I wanted, almost needed to do as soon as I finished watching the show was to write about it. I don't think I'm a fantastic writer, but I'm competent and I write honestly and with my heart. So maybe that's my calling. But in what vein?

Maybe in combination with what I think is my spiritual gift: mercy/compassion. Maybe...

Well, maybe instead of listing everything that I love and am good at that could possibly be my calling, I need to pray about it and listen to what God stirs up inside me.

Okay, out to the grotto to do a little praying. I'll report back later if God sends down a lightning bolt or something.

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