A constant struggle that I have been wrestling with for the past months—maybe years—is the struggle between being called to something versus being called to someone. Let me explain.
A danger in Christianity, and I say Christianity because in our faith we become aware of this, is pursuing the concept of calling so much that we fall for the delusion of being called to something or somewhere. The truth is that even though we may, in fact, be called to specific a task or location, we are primarily called to someone—Someone. Above all things, above all tasks and objectives we can undertake and imagine, and beyond all purposes we can conjure, we are called to God.
As followers of the Way, our primary and supreme calling is to the Caller Himself and if we miss this, no pursuit of any other calling—to a task or place—will ever fulfill because we failed at our primary calling: to find eternal joy and everlasting pleasure in Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.
Today, as I took my lunch break at the dedicated hour of 2:30PM, I was almost torn to tears as I read through the early chapters of The Call by Os Guinness. Few times in my life have the written words of a fellow finite human, like Os, moved me to the brink of complete brokenness. My whole life I have been pursuing and asking God for my calling: “God, where am I to go? Send me there! God, what am I to do? Show it to me!” But no, this should not be our prayer.
In many ways, the story of the talents in the Gospels relates directly to this issue. As a Christian, God will not reveal my secondary callings in life if I am in complete rebellion of my primary calling in Him. How can we demand more from God when we have done nothing, or have stopped producing, with what He has already given us? We pray “Lord! Lord! Show me this!” as God replies, “I have given you the Son—the Word made flesh—and the Spirit! What have you done with that? Have you found true joy and passion in me? Answer me that child.”
As I write my own words convict me. I sit here on the edge of crying because I am a rebellious creature who has told God, “Show me my destiny and then, only then, will I follow you! Show me how to bring you glory and then, only then, may I worship you!” And, as I have stood there declaring these things to God with my heart, God simply stood opposite to me, whispering, “Son, beloved, your destiny is found in following me with all the passion your heart can muster. Child, my glory is found in the eternal purity and wonder of worshiping me and finding true everlasting pleasure in me.”
My sin is so great and my blasphemy has been beyond compare as long as I have been in rebellion to the Caller. More than I ever before do I understand that without God’s grace, I would be a burnt pile of ashes. I would be nothing more than a memorial to a broken man who tried to take Heaven by storm and challenge Deity with iron and blood. God, I am so sorry. I am so broken. It is a surprise that I am even born again, a testament to the glorious power of your irresistible grace.
Beloved, I write of these things because, much like Paul stated, I see myself as chief of sinners. My rebellion has been such. I don’t write these words because I understand it all and, finally, have it all together. No, I write because I have been made broken once more, and the revelation such that it needs proclamation.
Friends, how can we pursue inferior callings if we are so far away from understanding the primary calling that the Caller has made us for?