I have an unfortunate tendency to put God in a box. My mind works in an orderly fashion, which often leads me to try to impose my rigidity on God. I imagine that God laughs at my feeble attempts to limit Him.

   One way that I subtly try to limit Him relates to my passion for helping people discover their calling, their personal Life Mission. I have experienced such joy and meaning through living into my calling, that I want others to immerse themselves in their calling equally. My passion is good, but God’s work in people’s lives is much more expansive than I tend to recognize.

I believe that God has a Life Mission, a unique calling for each person that follows Him. That calling may be grand, or it may be humble, but it is God’s special gift to us that comes out of the unique way He created us. But God doesn’t stop there. He gives us many talents that work together to make us who we are. David, in the Bible, is a perfect example. God called him to be the leader of Israel. He gifted him with extraordinary courage. From his boyhood days, He prepared David through his shepherding, through his fending off lions and bears, to stand against Goliath and dangerous foes to come. His gifting of David, preparing him to be king, was obvious. Less evident was David’s extraordinary musical ability. When not protecting his flocks, David learned and composed breathtaking music.

We read Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd.” David sang these psalms to the Lord. His gift was so remarkable, that when Saul suffered deep depression and called for someone to “play well” (1 Samuel 16:17), David was chosen out of all the musicians of Israel. His gifting musically placed him in the audience of the king. His love of music gave us the Psalms. His passion for music fed his soul and softened his heart, making him a good king, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). His second calling, music, complemented and enriched his first calling.

    I see this now as typical of God’s way with us. He interweaves various threads together, different gifts and passions, to create a whole person, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” We may be called to care for people in crisis. Enriching that call may be an additional call to write or to paint. We may be compelled to feed the hungry and also love to play an instrument. These second callings, whether grand or simple, public or private, feed our being, expanding and complementing the reach of our first calling. 

    God is not linear, though I tend to be. He is the Master Artist, the magnificent Creator of heaven and earth. He knit us together in our mother’s womb, and His creation in us is mysterious and glorious. Never diminish His work in you. You are His masterpiece! (Eph 2:10) Take a moment and marvel at His intricate, surprising gifting in your life. Though you may not see it well, you are magnificent in His eyes, a delight to His heart. See His first calling in your life, and His second and third and fourth. With David, live into all your callings. With David, say, “I will praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” (Ps 139:14)

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Ryan Witcher says:

    I agree. I think when I was young I tended to view calling as one particular occupation. But with age and wisdom, I’ve realized God has made me several different ways to carry out His purposes with my life. A calling can be occupational, but often it is just how we love and treat people in our life and what that shows about God to them.

    • Tommy Thompson says:

      I love these thoughts Ryan. Calling is just as much about being as about doing and accomplishing. Often it is not directly related to work.