Finding Your Calling

He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.

–St. Gregory of Nissa-

Many of us go to work each day to fill a basic need of survival.  But, does that satisfy the heart?  Are you feeling like you are being pulled away from things you love? For example, your love ones, or a special hobby… Then you may fulfill the need for survival, instead of the need to feel complete.

Is money really the solution?  Or do you have a deeper desire?  Chasing money does not always satisfy one’s true needs.  Over the past year, I have been volunteering.  God has allowed me to see people as they are and learn what beauty and self fulfillment is.  That is where I get my fulfillment.  That is my calling.  God puts into each of us desires and dreams which are meant to be fulfilled. This yearning is our calling.

That yearning is what we should do with our time because we love it.  It gives us life and excites our souls.  It causes us to want to be better and do better with our life.  Our senses will be so excited that the experience will leave us wanting more.  In my case, I love working with people who need and want my help.  I have worked across many segments of the population, and I don’t even leave my state. 

When considering what your calling might be, be a present thinker.  Don’t keep looking into the review mirror of life or through the magic eight ball of your future.  Ask yourself, “What is next today?”  The world is made up of endless possibilities which are unlocked by being in the present. 

Don’t be afraid of failing.  Go out there and try out new jobs. By exposing yourself to different jobs, you will be allowing yourself to “try on” something new and say yes to just about anything.  So, if there is something crazy out there that you always wanted to try, just do it even if it doesn’t appear to be the right fit.

My husband is always looking for ways to do something differently.  He is a solution finder.  Find a problem and solve it. There are so many quirky things we see that we say to ourselves, “You know, if we did this or that it would be better.” And isn’t that they way we can make this world a better place.  Who knows you might trademark and patent the newest automobile.

Have you ever met that one person whose life is so perfect?  Their life is so planned out that there is no breathing room to enjoy the accidents in life.  They know what they are planning to be and when, but they aren’t happy.  Toss those plans out.  Let the redirections in life create new opportunities that you wouldn’t see otherwise.  I am not saying don’t plan.  What I am saying is don’t be so rigid to your schedule that you fail to see the opportunities which introduce themselves in the little hiccups of life.

Frequently we hear about a child doing something because the dream was instilled into them by a parent or someone else in their life.  We say that someone is living their life through that person.  Instead of trying to be someone you are not, just be yourself. We are all unique and need to be able to be a shining star. Be that star.

Take an inventory of what your likes and dislikes are.  What are your skills and talents? And how can you make use of them all?  Once you gathered this information together, analyze it.  Decide what you can put up with and what will definitely need to be thrown out.  It may take a little time.  But, you will find it will be so rewarding on your quest to find that home where God would like you to be.  He has high hopes for you.  He has plans.  Just follow the signs.

Once you are starting to see a pattern, try to meet like minded people and ask for some guidance.  They can help you fine tune your calling.  Do you go to parties or functions or even really like a particular writer, engineer, or person across the room and fail to go over to meet them? There is a story in the Bible in which a tax collector really wanted to meet Jesus, but there were too many people in the way. What does he do? He goes out in front in hopes of being noticed (he stuck out his hand metaphorically). And you know, Jesus noticed him and dined with him that night forever changing his life. 

In your quest for finding your calling working with and listening to an experienced elderly person might peak your interest. They may know of careers which were popular when they were younger which could be valuable in today’s market. For example, there might be a need for a furrier because everyone has decided to ride horses instead of other modes of transportation.

So you have started working where you believe you are called, and it doesn’t feel quite right.  Observe what the issue is and make changes.  For example, you are a third grade English teacher, but you are finding that it doesn’t feel quite right.  You really enjoy teaching older children.  Make the necessary changes to work within the parameters of your interest.  Or let’s say you became an architect at twenty one, but when you were child you wanted to be a fisherman. Allow yourself to change your mind and go where the Lord is leading you.  You could end up teaching the poor in the streets of India like Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Don’t confuse the job with the purpose. Sometimes what you are doing is a means to an end, but not your true purpose. Separate yourself and your purpose from your job. You are not your job. This might mean you are working in one area and following your calling outside of the job. It’s really nice when it works together.

Some people suggest that we need to create a mission statement once we have the framework of our calling created in our minds and set about setting goals in small increments.  Your mission statement should be simple with flexibility.  As you work on your mission statement, brainstorm with endless possibilities. List different ideas about what you could do or become until something really grabs your interest.  Give it time.  You don’t have to find your calling in one day or even a month or even a year.  Pray on it.  God will lead the way.

Once you are feeling comfortable with what God is calling you to do, it is time to do some goal setting.  Don’t chicken out.  Don’t let your insecurities, your thoughts, your past, or your need to be perfect stop you.  God uses us in our weaknesses to express his greatness.  Remain calm.  Stay focused and pray.  Do it all one step at a time.  You will do GREAT!  God’s got your back.

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