Going in Circles, but Spiraling Upwards

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Gary | 7 comments


Over the years I have had individuals tell me, with a degree of embarrassment, that they still aren’t sure what their calling is or if they are in the right place. I find that the older a person is, the more honest and perceptive they are about their heart and life…and the more shame they feel about their uncertainty. Permit me to shed some light on our collective experiences.

Everybody revisits the questions of “who am I”, “what do I possess that I am to offer to the world” and “where is my place.” I do. I used to wonder why I circled back to this same question every year or so. Was I simply walking around a cul-de-sac instead of making progress up the road? Then I realized that I was asking the same question but from a different place. I was a different man from the last time I asked these questions – I had gained a little more experience, understanding, perspective, intimacy with God. My journey may be circular, but it is an upward spiral. There is nothing wrong in asking this question frequently and consistently – we should and we must.

2 Cor. 4:16 (NCV) So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day.

2 Cor. 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Everybody is beleaguered by doubt and condemnation which comes from thoughts like, “you should know this by now” or “just grow up and be content.” After all, we are up against the unholy trinity – the world, the flesh and the devil.

World: 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Flesh: Gal. 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

Devil: Eph. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Nobody knows with complete clarity and certainty what their calling is. I know several people who are so precise and intentional about their life, and their contribution is so weighty, yet they also wrestle with the mystery of their calling. I have been studying “calling” for over a quarter of a century and yet there is still much more clarity I need and desire regarding my life – I’m still wondering.

1 Cor. 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.

So, let’s not stop asking and seeking (Luke 11:9) for a deeper understanding of who we truly are and what our place in this story really is.


7 Responses to “Going in Circles, but Spiraling Upwards”

  1. Valerie Condron says:

    As always I so appreciate your insight and am very glad as I can now say I am in the company of many I admire!! Oh how I need to be reminded of 1 Cor. 13:12 often because I tend to be hard on me-knowing in my head, God is gracious…and he keeps asking me to just be who I am. Trouble with that is I am not sure some days but onward AND upward!!

  2. Very encouraging word here, Gary. So helpful to look at the struggle of having incomplete insight as what we should expect. You’ve given positive definition to my questions. Then again, that’s who you are and what you do.

  3. Gary,

    Brilliant! Well put! Each time we come around and ask those questions, it is from a different perspective, from another year, or period, of growth, maturity, and process. Thanks for connecting those dots!

  4. Russell says:

    Wow, great post today. Based on what you’ve said, I’m wondering if it is time for you to put out version 2.0 of “The Glory of Your Life” CD series. You’ve taught this material for some time, I’m sure you’ve continued to hone and refine the material. What do you think?

  5. Craig Parker says:

    Dear Gary

    I can relate to what you have said about going in circles and spiralling upwards. It started about 6 years ago when I started a journey or entered a halftime season without even realising that I was. A kind of rediscovery of my faith, and where to next was in progress, almost impercetibly. I devoured many books all references by you guys John, Dallas, Richard … and went to Wild at Heart in Wales and all the time the search deepened and increased. It often felt that I was going around the same bush, but its encouraging to know that the journey is upwards and there is a top to the bush. Great post

  6. Really good words. This was very encouraging. And what a great picture… It’s perfect to remind us of our ever increasing glory!

    Thanks for sharing your life with us,

  7. Alan Thomas says:

    It seems that everytime I read something of yours, there is something touched deep inside my heart. I thank God that he has created you to wonder, and help those of us that feel lost.
    Thank you for remaining true to what God has called you I know I am blessed by it.

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