4 Keys to Discovering Your Calling

Do what you're meant to do.

On a crisp fall morning, I had the opportunity to enjoy a weekday breakfast at a local restaurant. As I sat down with my coffee, I noticed a large group circled around tables pushed together.

I was the only other guest on the patio, so I could not help but overhear their conversation. It became obvious that they were younger retirees who gather regularly for breakfast. As one gentleman stood up to leave, one of the women called out, “You are leaving? Where do you have to go? You are retired!”

I thought about those of us who have been in the workplace for a long time and wondered how many fantasize about those kinds of breakfasts—days when we can sip coffee at our leisure and have no place to go. While this thought might be intriguing to some, it brings me little joy. Don’t misunderstand: while it is true I someday will retire from my day job, it also is true that I will continue to pursue my calling until the day I die.

Christine Caine, founder of A21 Campaign and PropelWomen, recently made the comment, “What are you going to do—retire and play golf, really? As long as we are breathing, God has placed us on this earth for a purpose.”

Many years ago, I found that my calling is to use my path to help others find theirs—that my journey could serve as a roadmap for those trying to find their way. By revealing my path, hopefully others might avoid pitfalls and stumbles along theirs.

You probably already have grand aspirations for your life, as well as the determination to become the best version of your self. Following your calling is an investment in your well-being. The most fulfilled individuals in this world have learned to leverage their gifts to pursue their true passions.

So how do you discover your calling?

It’s the Thing That Gets You Up in the Morning

It resonates not just in your heart and mind, but sizzles in your soul. For me, it’s the excitement I get as I think about developing the people who work for me and seeing them achieve their goals and dreams.

It’s What Others Tell You That You Do Best

A calling draws upon your greatest gifts and deepest talents. I am often guided by this insight based on 2 Timothy 1:5-7, “Listen humbly to other people in your life: They not only confirm your gifts. They are the instruments of God to awaken in you possibilities."

A Calling Is the Way You Use Your Energy to Make an Impact

Being the solution makes your work feel meaningful. It gives you the chance to be a hero in your own story when we get to solve a pivotal problem. In all we do, we need to feel that our actions are justified and have a measurable effect that we perceive as positive.

It’s the Moment and the Activity in Which You Feel God’s Pleasure

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There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you are doing what you are meant to do. As portrayed in the movie Chariots of Fire, Olympic runner and 400-meter champion Eric Liddell described it like this: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

Unlike a job that is for a season, a calling will beckon us for a lifetime. It creates an inner drive and restlessness when we live outside of it and peace when we are embracing it and living inside of it. A job is printed on your resume. A calling echoes in your epitaph.

Consider your calling and diligently pursue it. It will make all the difference.

Top Comments

Jordane Lapierre

1

Jordane Lapierre commented…

We live in a day and age in which everything must feel right in order to be right. Although I agree that for some people, their calling is based on what they love and are good at, I find that this article completely overlooks and doesn't even acknowledge that for others, their calling is something of a burden for which God's grace alone is sufficient.
With that being said, what if your calling isn't something that makes you jump out of bed in the morning? What if you're not particularly good at it?
When God gave Moses his calling, Moses wasn't jumping up and down with happiness. In fact he tried everything he could think of to get out of it. Not only that, but he wasn't good at public speaking either. Yet God called him. And God provided for Moses the grace that he needed to fulfill that calling.
And about Jonas? God gave him a pretty clear calling. Jonas ran the other way and when he did fulfill the calling, it was with a wretched attitude. But God used him to bring to repentance an entire city.
And what about the apostles. Most of them were fishermen, far from the public speakers they were called to be to proclaim the Gospel.
Even the passage in 2 Timothy 1:5-7 referenced in the article is a reminder to Timothy that he has been called to something and to not be afraid to live out that calling. Why the reminder to not be afraid? Maybe cause it took him out of his comfort zone?
And what about Samson, and Gideon? And the list could go on.
But God called. And God enabled and gave grace where needed.

If God calls you to something that you love and at which you're good at, that is great. But let's keep in mind that a calling doesn't always come with warm and fuzzy feeling.
God doesn't always call those who are able but He does enable those He calls.

Amanda Ross

1

Amanda Ross commented…

What version is the Timothy 1:5-7 reference? It doesn't match any versions I just looked at.

7 Comments

Amanda Ross

1

Amanda Ross commented…

What version is the Timothy 1:5-7 reference? It doesn't match any versions I just looked at.

John Powell

56

John Powell replied to Amanda Ross's comment

Must be a more loose translation akin to the Message, which I like, but this version seems to get pretty far off the mark. I also though the article comes to much from someone who has a track record of nothing but success. No doubt she has worked hard, but I sense to much worldly definitions of success running through the article. It sounds like its all up to me, that success or failure can be controlled by me, and if I don't grab it then I am at fault. That brand of Christian thought is not true. I have been around too many suffering and poor people in Africa to believe that line.

Alex Jovanovic

4

Alex Jovanovic replied to John Powell's comment

No, she is not. Incredibly, she is quoting John Pipers (IMHO rather loose) interpretation of this verse. Pretty crazy to mix up Piper's comment with the word of God... http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/is-god-calling-you-to-give-your-life...

Jordan Post

4

Jordan Post replied to Alex Jovanovic's comment

She's not quoting the Bible, she says, "I am often guided by this insight based on 2 Timothy 1:5-7" she is quoting the insight that is based on the scripture, not the scripture itself.

Jordane Lapierre

1

Jordane Lapierre commented…

We live in a day and age in which everything must feel right in order to be right. Although I agree that for some people, their calling is based on what they love and are good at, I find that this article completely overlooks and doesn't even acknowledge that for others, their calling is something of a burden for which God's grace alone is sufficient.
With that being said, what if your calling isn't something that makes you jump out of bed in the morning? What if you're not particularly good at it?
When God gave Moses his calling, Moses wasn't jumping up and down with happiness. In fact he tried everything he could think of to get out of it. Not only that, but he wasn't good at public speaking either. Yet God called him. And God provided for Moses the grace that he needed to fulfill that calling.
And about Jonas? God gave him a pretty clear calling. Jonas ran the other way and when he did fulfill the calling, it was with a wretched attitude. But God used him to bring to repentance an entire city.
And what about the apostles. Most of them were fishermen, far from the public speakers they were called to be to proclaim the Gospel.
Even the passage in 2 Timothy 1:5-7 referenced in the article is a reminder to Timothy that he has been called to something and to not be afraid to live out that calling. Why the reminder to not be afraid? Maybe cause it took him out of his comfort zone?
And what about Samson, and Gideon? And the list could go on.
But God called. And God enabled and gave grace where needed.

If God calls you to something that you love and at which you're good at, that is great. But let's keep in mind that a calling doesn't always come with warm and fuzzy feeling.
God doesn't always call those who are able but He does enable those He calls.

Alex Jovanovic

4

Alex Jovanovic commented…

In case you are trying to figure out what Bible translation 2 Tim 1:5-7 is from, it's not from any. The author should not quote John Piper's interpretation as if it were the Bible itself. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/is-god-calling-you-to-give-your-life...

Marsha Phillips

1

Marsha Phillips commented…

Rick Warren and Eric Rees wrote and spoke extensively on this topic years ago. This is just a rehash of some of the same information--skipping the most important connection to our design, spiritual gifts. I have taught this material several times and in prep for my first attempt, I researched the Eric Liddell quote--he didn't say this. It was written in as part of the script but is not an actual quote.

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