(The Blog-On-Video is at the bottom of this page)
It seems so hard to “nail down” what our calling is and what we should do.
A short while back, I attended a Branding conference put on by Free Agent Academy, of which I’m one of their professors. I was there as an attendee, not a presenter. The Branding professor asked us to write out a very brief description (elevator speech) for our business (idea). I struggled with this for hours and hours. I couldn’t articulate it. I was lost in a foggy swirl of ideas and emotions.
Then, in a moment of exasperation I said, “I’m not sure I can articulate what my life (work) is to be about, but I can tell you what makes me mad, what breaks my heart, the battle I must fight.” That blew the door open. It was one of those “knock and the door will be open” experiences for me (Matt. 7:7).
Sometime the path to our core God-give desires for our life (our calling; Phil. 2:13) is discovered by peering through the window of sorrow, anger and heartbreak.
Through that window I discovered and wrote this:
“I am unsettled by the diminishment, dismissal and side-lining of individuals who carry the image and glory of God – which comes through the relentless assault of the world and Satan or the abuse and abandonment of people. I am disturbed by the quick-fix teaching and counsel about calling that ultimately disheartens people, distancing them from God.”
“I absolutely love when I see the glimmer of the vein of gold that runs through a person’s life, but more importantly, when they recognize and own the glory of their life. I love and am compelled to help people recover their heart, walk with God, interpret their life, offer their glory, and persevere with joy.”
“I want to spur others on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24), warning those who are idle, encouraging the timid, helping the weak.” (I Thess. 5:14)
Though I had been speaking and writing on calling for years, I had never really wrestled through articulating my calling, my compelling, my effect until that moment. And, it wasn’t a quick take-down wrestling match; I had to wrestle with my heart for hours upon hours. It was the hard, diligent work of detangling my thoughts through my fingers that brought the clarity I was looking for.
In the new weekend event we just piloted called, It’s Your Time, which is a follow-up to the calling retreat, It’s Your Call, we had the participants write out their “Calling Manifesto *”. What they found, as I did, is that it is really difficult to drill through all the accumulation of rock and soil from the years of life and battle to get to the “vain of gold”. But once you get to it, you can see the path and follow the vain more easily.
Don’t let the thought, “I can’t articulate my calling” turn into “so I must not have one”. Articulating, translating, discovering, drilling-down, detailing is hard work, for everyone. You can do it, but it will take time and effort…and it is be enhanced with the encouragement and feedback that comes with doing this with others. That’s why we’ve created this new event that I’ll tell you about later.
Your vain of gold, which is the splendor, the calling of your life is there. You can find it and you can see it with enough clarity to walk it out. I promise. But the first step is the hard work of articulating it.
Here to help you as we walk together,
* A manifesto is a published or verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of an individual or group.