The Weight of Calling
If you are like me, the thought of your calling has a tremendous weight to it. Do I know what my calling is? Am I walking in my calling? Did I miss my calling? If you are asking these questions you are in great company, and your heart is also leaning in the right direction. In order for anyone to walk in their calling, they first must realization that they have one. The Word is clear that as followers of Jesus we each have a specific calling tailor-made by Christ. Ephesians 2:10 says that “We are Christ’s workmanship created in Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” That verse fires me up with excitement, but also presents the reality that we all may not walk in our calling. The end of the verse states that we should walk in them. What is presented on the table is our onus to walk in that calling. What practical and spiritual steps can we take to find our calling and fulfill what Christ has prepared for us?
Characteristics of Calling
In the Crossroads Career workbook “Hear God Calling You,” Chapter 3 lays out a wonderful foundation to determine the differences between your job, your career, and your calling. The chapter begins with a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting your calling and your career. Your career as defined by dictionary.com is “an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework.” We can readily drop characteristics of your career into that circle of the Venn diagram. Requirements of being a pilot, nurse, architect, contractor, sales professional, and various other occupations fit within the characteristics of your career. But what do the characteristics of your calling look like?
Thousands of books that help answer that question. The single most helpful reference for me was Christ’s response to his disciples after he had met with the Samaritan woman at the well. He told them that He had food and drink they did not know of, which was to accomplish His Father’s will. That’s it! That is what finding and following your calling is; doing God’s specific will in your life to bring Him glory, advance His kingdom and building up and encourage fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus had accomplished the very specific task of meeting and blessing the woman at the well and He knew that lead to the pleasure of His Father. When we are walking in our calling, we experience the same soul satisfaction that Jesus mentions here. A satisfaction that far exceeds the physical nourishment we get from even eating and drinking.
How I Found My Calling
Are you ready to find your calling? Let me quickly share with you my story and example of finding my calling. I have been with my current employer my entire career leading sales teams and overall having a prosperous and blessed journey. I knew I had found a great career, but I always struggled with the question of my calling. As a young child, I always had dreams of being a missionary or a pastor and selling insurance albeit successfully was literally the furthest thing from that! I was unfulfilled and searching. I taught Sunday School at church to use my gift of teaching, but it didn’t satisfy the question, am I walking in my calling. Through a season of immense struggle with mental anguish, anxiety, and stress, the Lord broke me and brought me to a place of full surrender in my life.
One of my favorite pastors, Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, said, “God does not plow a field unless He intends to sow into it and yield a crop.” The plowing had taken place and my heart was ready to obey whatever God had for me more than ever before. In my heart of hearts, I knew He was getting ready to call me to be a pastor. Well, I was wrong! Through months of prayer and seeking the Lord confirmed that He had me right where He wanted me. I was listening to another favorite pastor of mine, Dr. Crawford Loritts, who shared he would go weeks without running into a lost person, and how his soul longed to have a proximity of life with the unsaved so He could share Christ and shine his light with them. There it was: a hero in my eyes sharing his desire to experience something I experienced every day. My mission field was at my place of employment. I knew God was calling me to shine my light at work and profess His name boldly like never before, and He had conditioned my heart through my season of refinement for just that.
What ensued was an ability to walk in my calling that only God could have authored. God led me to numerous opportunities to pray with coworkers, share my faith with executives, proclaim my identify in Christ to thousands of employees during all-employee meetings, and even an opportunity to share my faith and pray with the CEO of the company. My story is a unique example, but only from the standpoint that it is my calling. Your calling will be another brilliant and glorious refraction of Christ’s love and brilliance to the world as you walk in it.
The Missing Component
Your specific calling is handcrafted by Christ for you. It will set your soul on fire and be far more exciting that you can imagine. It will require you to fully seek and surrender every aspect of your life, to take risks, and to display faith and courage as you obey and follow that calling. Your calling will leverage your skills, talents, and desires to bring God glory. It wasn’t until my aim at work was to maximize God’s glory, that God revealed and begin to unroll His plan of my calling to me. Matthew 7:7-8 says “Keep asking, and it will be given to you, keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” If finding and walking in your calling is something you deeply desire, then pray earnestly for God to lead you to it. (You will know when you are walking in your calling.) You may already be perfectly positioned by God in your job, career or vocation, and the missing component is your aim to glorify right where you are standing or sitting today.
Ultimately, we all have a calling. God wants us to walk in our specific calling. There is a responsibility for us to seek God for Him to reveal it to us. Your calling is perfectly handcrafted for you taking advantage of your skills, talents, and desires. Your calling will bring you immense soul satisfaction and will always build up the body of Christ, bring Glory to God and advance His kingdom.
Marcus Robinson serves on the Crossroads Career Board and is a National Vice President of Sales for UnitedHealthcare’s ACA or individual exchange business. He is also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion executive council and a culture facilitator at UHC. He lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife and three children.