Yesterday, I spent some time thinking about the calling of Abraham and Moses. (Genesis 15; Exodus 3) I was comparing the discomfort those men went through as a result of their calling to a community and the relative ease with which I question my calling to the community I live in and the work God has clearly called me to do at YS.
Why am I so quick to question while they spent decades grinding out their calling?
I’m glad I spent time with Moses and Abraham yesterday. I somehow associate “being called” with “being easy.” It reminded me that being called somewhere brings great pleasure, but also involves sticking it out through times of doubt, turmoil, angst, and pressure.
A few week’s ago I ruffled some feathers with a post called, Youth Workers: Don’t Punk Out. I’ve known too many people called to a task but have given up for a different task. They will wrestle with the guilt the rest of their lives. They will work out justifications that make it sound like they weren’t “running to Ninevah” but in their hearts they know they are just trying to save face when they need to repent.
God may bless them in other capacities but the guilt of their mistake will always haunt them.
When I think of Moses and Abraham I think about their contemporaries. Certainly, God called other men and women living at the same time to do things. But their stories didn’t get recorded in history. Why? Did they cower? Did they hide from their calling? Certainly, they didn’t outshine Moses or Abraham.
The thing about being called to a task in life is that you know you are called. Hence the phrase calling. Calling implies that their was an invitation and a RSVP to that invitation. It was sent and it was received. You know you’ve been called because you answered the phone! God asked you if you’d do it and you willingly (and maybe with much trembling) said “Yes, Lord I hear you. I will do that.”
You will know you have been called when the power of the calling exhibits itself
- Calling haunts you.
- Calling wakes you up early in the morning and lays your head down late at night; it provides more energy than sleep.
- Calling and vocation are two different things. Calling isn’t about a paycheck its about the reward.
- Calling applies in every context you find yourself in. You can fulfill your calling living next door to your mommy, and you can fulfill your calling living in a third world country.
- Calling and longsuffering are kissing cousins.
- Calling can release you; it can spit you up; it can drive you to madness; but it is unchanging and seeming unchangeable.
- Calling is affirmed by people in your life and by results measured in Kingdom impact.
- Calling is about short-term suffering and long-term rewards. Abraham’s descendants are numerous beyond belief. Moses faithfulness to God was only surpassed by Jesus.
- Calling looks like foolishness to some.
- Calling isn’t something soft. If you’ve been called you know it. You might not be able to articulate how you were called but if you were called you would know it.
- There is general calling, we are all called to love God and love others. And there is specific calling.
- Calling releases energy, resources, and results that defy the laws of economics and physics.