A Friendly Reminder From A Failed Party Clown
What is my calling?
Wow. This is a question I have asked more times than I can count – most often with tear-stained cheeks and a heart desperately seeking divine direction and validation. Before I surrendered my life to Jesus in high school and had a framework for the idea of a “calling” in the Christian sense, I ached to know what I was supposed to do with my life. As an excellent student dead-set on perfect grades and measurable achievement, I was envious of friends and peers who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to pursue after graduation. Searching for answers, I took an extensive career-placement test believing whole-heartedly the results would provide the clarity I was craving.
With much anticipation I received the results and ripped the folder open to behold my future. My eager eyes quickly landed on two bold words on the top of the page that would undoubtedly unlock the looming unknowns ahead:
This had to be a mistake!
I frantically leafed through the packet to find my name on every page, and the carefully crafted and overly-analyzed answers I had provided to each question. These results were indisputably mine. The room grew blurry as tears filled my eyes.
I heard things like “doctor,” “engineer” and “teacher” floating around the room as other students were affirmed in their future college majors. I dared look beneath the two harrowing words on my own piece of paper to find a paragraph explaining how being a party clown would be perfect for me since I didn’t mind public speaking, seemed to enjoy children, and despite my academic success, would likely never be able to hold down a traditional desk job because I was apparently somehow both an achiever and a creative; a perfectionist and a performer. Basically, I was almost adequate at many different things, and yet altogether unimpressive in any specific category. The ambiguity left me absolutely devastated.
Needless to say, the pressure and eventual disappointment I experienced around that career-placement test soon followed me right into my relationship with God. Almost as swiftly as I walked down the aisle to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I replaced the word “profession” with “calling” and became obsessed with discovering the purpose the Lord had for me. I was determined to figure out what I was supposed to do now that I was a Christian.
Called into Fellowship
I believed in Jesus with all my heart, but I had no idea what He actually wanted me to do. My newfound faith was more about me than about my Savior: I wanted instructions more than I wanted intimacy, I wanted rules more than I wanted relationship. And over a decade later, I sadly sometimes still find myself desperately trying to discover a way to earn the love of God by doing.
When I find my prayers more wordy than worshipful and my thoughts more consumed by work than wonder, the Holy Spirit whispers again to me the precious name of my Savior and, in so doing, clarifies my calling:
This has to be a mistake!
I frantically leaf through the Scriptures only to find this name being pointed to by every passage on every page, and then my carefully crafted and overly-analyzed prayers fade as I realize this calling is unmistakably mine. The room grows blurry as tears fill my eyes.
I sense the beautiful name of Jesus Christ changing the atmosphere of the room as awe simultaneously satisfies and supersedes my longing for affirmation. I dare to speak these two holy words with my own voice and am overcome by the promised peace that transcends understanding as they leave my lips. This God is somehow both all-powerful and all-loving. He is as just as He is merciful; a Lion and a Lamb. He surpasses the confines of any category. The mystery of His glory leaves me absolutely and abundantly alive.
Needless to say, the freedom and eternal joy available through the heart-humbling, soul-saving name of Jesus Christ reminds me of the deep privilege it is to be in right relationship with God. Almost as swiftly as I drop to my knees before His throne, He replaces my filthy rags of self-righteousness with a grace-soaked garment of salvation. My King covers me with a robe of righteousness nearly too wonderful to receive.
“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9, New International Version)
God has called me into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ my Lord.
Wow. This calling is one I have celebrated more times than I can count – most often with tear-stained cheeks and a heart desperately seeking to know Him more. Before I surrendered my life to Jesus in high school and had a framework for the idea of a “calling” in the Christian sense, I ached to know what I was supposed to do with my life. And now I know. Every hour, every day, and evermore, I have been called to fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Scripture taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.