“So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey . . . . And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:8–10
Everybody wants to have a life of meaning. I think we all know internally that we were created for something more than what we are doing currently. The fact that we believe that we were created for more opens the question of call. What is it that we have been uniquely created for?
That question (and the answer) lead to questions of call.
There are probably as many thoughts or definitions of call as there are books on call or the will of God on the bookshelf of a Christian book store. When I look at how God calls people in the Bible, I see them called to places of brokenness, whose healing requires their redeemed brokenness. Moses who was deeply wounded by the abuse of his people is called by God into their rescue. Paul, who was deeply shaped by a rigid and violent legalism, healed and called to preach grace, and so on. Modern day example is Candy Lightner, whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, and out of that pain she founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her call was directly related to her pain. Another woman I know had a call which was indirectly related. Abandoned by her father as a child, God redeemed that pain and then called her to the homeless — people who often feel abandoned or have abandoned others.
Everybody has a call along these lines. It may take years to discover it, but when discovered releases them into being a healer of broken places that actually aid in their own healing. This is called a life thread call, because it is related to the threads which run through your experiences and your pain. The key to discovering this is to be willing to move into your pain, in community, to become aware of the pain in the world, to pray for those two to be connected and then when you think they are, try it on; join someone in it. If you don’t know, then join in with someone who does and that will help bring clarity.
As we move toward discovery of our call, remember that this life thread call generally has 6 marks or common pieces which flow through every call of God. Call is:
From God — not something that comes from somebody else. God speaks it into our hearts and though he often uses other people to speak and confirm, it is from God.
Impossible – true call is something that can seem impossible. When you hear it, you might be tempted to say that there’s no way. It is so impossible that it absolutely requires us to lean hard into God. We will be unable to do it without him.
Meets a Real Need – it’s not something that’s nice, but unnecessary. It’s a very clear need in the world.
Persistent – a call will not leave you alone. It may be something you never thought you would do. But the thought, as much as you try to dispel it from your mind and heart, will not leave you.
Simple – can be stated simply. It is not complicated. If it’s not able to be stated simply, then there is still work to be done.
Affirmed by Community – call is never done solo. It is always about community. It is developed and lived out in community.
Have you ever had an inkling of what God might be calling you to? Have you dismissed it? Is it still there?
If you want to move deeper in this journey, let me know and I and others will resource you.
Peace, hope and love Doug