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When You Don’t Have a Calling

When You Don’t Have a Calling

Calling is a difficult thing. It can so often be used as a buzzword in Christian communities, without realizing the depth of what It means—that the God of the Universe is literally leading you into a stage of life, that He will then Bless and use for His glory. That is pretty heavy stuff.

The past couple weeks have been tough for me. My wife and I were pretty positive we were called to a career opportunity elsewhere… and then things happened. Stuff was offered here, and there, and we started to reevaluate what we were feeling led to… and now we just don’t know.

Up to this point, my callings have been straight forward. I just fell into them. At times I was frustrated with God for this. Why couldn’t I have more options? But every time it was the same as the Macedonian Man talking to Paul—here is the open door, take it.

Now, on the other side, I desperately wish for a straightforward answer about what is the “Right” choice. Truly a “grass is always greener,” situation. But no matter how uncomfortable I have been in this process, here are some things I *think* I have learned:

Gratitude can be a universal feeling. Whether in the midst of figuring out my calling, or twenty years into it, there is never a time to not be thankful to God. I can hold onto and experience both frustration and gratitude simultaneously.

God is in the turmoil. He is in the uncomfortable-ness. Although I find myself wishing for a straightforward answer, someone telling me what to do and assuring me that it will all work out—it is good to be unsure. It is good to sit in the discomfort. To go on aimless drives calling to God for an answer/sign/something. To read his Word looking for comfort and purpose. Because when we are driven to discomfort, we are simultaneously driven closer to the heart of God.

Calling does not equal security. Although I long for financial, career, and pretty much any other type of security you can imagine, calling does not always take those into account. I think I am learning to be ok living with more risk; because it means you are getting to live in more reliance on the Father.

One of my best friends recently told me that my “waffling” doesn’t necessarily lend to my credibility. My going back and forth considering calling, the questioning and decisive then un-decisiveness. Although tough to hear it was good—there is a time and place for discernment to happen, and that is not in the public sphere. This is a mistake I have made. I can pray that God will use my transparency for his Good, but at the same time it is humbling to know that with maturity and wisdom comes not airing every errant thought about calling to whomever I am with at the time.

Assuredness. There are somethings that I can be certain of, and those I can meditate on and find peace in when life seems not peaceful. I am always called to love God recklessly. I am called to care for and love Meredith. I am always called to nurture the body of Christ, though this may look different in different seasons. Biblical moral imperatives. What a wonderful experience it is to meditate on the word of God and know that in this far from black and white world, we can be certain that the Word of God is true, and that I can be certain that there are moral ways in which to live that are glorifying to Him.

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James Harris

James is probably the 3rd or 4th funniest guy you know. Funny enough to invite to a party; not witty enough to talk about later. Co-Founder and Content Editor of Everyday Exiles, Director of College Ministry at Reynolda Church, EPC, and husband to Meredith. He has a dog named Calvin, a cat named Opie, and a robot vacuum named Alfred.

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