Sam Williamson shares this great story at the Calling events that I wanted to get out to you. It really is quite profound.
Fifteen years ago, a client asked me to speak at a conference. The conference topic was on a subject I wasn’t familiar with, but I agreed because I had led small workshops before so I wasn’t too worried.
The day before the conference, my client called me to say that he was looking forward to my presentation, because it was the keynote presentation. My heart began to beat a little faster, and I suspect beads of sweat formed on my brow.
I quickly printed five articles that I had goggled on the subject, shoved them into my briefcase, and headed out for the airport. I had twenty-four hours to prepare a keynote speech on a subject I knew nothing about.
I rarely talk to people on planes, but the man next to me turned out to be an professor at an Ivy League College, and he specialized in Public Speaking. I thought this might be a good time to talk with my airline neighbor.
Hoping for free advice that might ease my presentation problems, I asked the professor for the number one key to great public speaking. To which he replied, “know what you are talking about.”
I thought, “Great, strike one.”
I asked him for the second most important key to great public speaking. He said, “love what you’re talking about.”
Then I asked him for the third most important key-hoping I could connect with something. Maybe I’d get a bunt. He started with this story. When Churchill became Britain’s Prime Minister at the beginning of World War II, he said that he felt like “his whole life had prepared him for this moment.”
Then professor said to me, “The key to great public speaking is believing that your whole life has prepared you for this moment.”
It turned out that the subject I was to speak on was exactly what my company’s software did; we just gave it a different name. I later realized that God had prepared me for that moment; I simply hadn’t recognized His preparation because I had given it another name.
This is so profound and crucial to the understanding of our calling:
- God has been preparing us for the present moment that we are in.
- We often don’t recognize God’s preparation / architecture / choreography in our life because we have different names for it.
We may call it: God may calls it:
Hardship Training in perseverance
A hobby A glimpse of your true desire
Betrayal Training in discernment
Boredom Revelation of who you aren’t
Injustice Training in righteousness
A friendship A deposit into your life
Loss Training in faith
- God is using this moment to prepare us for the next moment that is coming.
So, let us know what we’re doing, love what we’re doing and believe that our whole life has prepared us for what we’re doing.
Great story! Sam shared this at the recent intensive retreat in WI. I just had a conversation with a person and realized my life up to this point was preparation for the discussion. God is powerful and mighty and wastes nothing in reaching out to His creation through us.
This story recalibrates me every time I hear it.
Yes, I find hope in this. God himself is personally preparing us, and he wastes nothing; he takes the good, the bed, and the ugly, and creates in us something glorious!
Thanks for your sharing,
Today I sensed God saying “your whole life has prepared you for this”. One sentence. That’s it. I thought, “well okay”. This evening I get home from work and read your email that describes the message of that one sentence. I <3 it when God tells me again!
I feel grateful and warm and happy after reading this post.
I love how God will confirm his words to us!
Isn’t it great when God speaks to us, and then CONFIRMS it? He is so gracious and loving.
So, what do you think God has prepared you for?
Gary, thankyou. You’ve no idea how appropriate this posting is for what I am doing at day conference for church leaders from across London (UK). It’s the second encouragement that Father has given today and I am SO grateful…and a little scared – in a good sense. Bless you, Robin.
That is cool. God is confirming His presence with you. I’m sure He has prepared you for this moment that your in. Don’t hold anything back.
May God bless your work on this conference! And feel free to rest in the midst of the work; you are already prepared…by the Master Preparer.
As I think of your life, this principle really comes clear; your love for music, your woodworking skills, the music you “heard” that no existing guitar could play, and your incredible 27 string guitar.
You are an inspiration.
Keith, I remember when we met around the fire and you were telling me you were building that incredible instrument, then to hear you play it at the wedding. Wow. I agree with Sam, you are an inspiration.
Gary, I needed this. I’m in the 4th quarter of my life, flying all over the world helping train IBM sellers on the solutions my software brand focuses on. It’s a $1.5B business so not a trivial task. I’ve been in IT for 28 years so I know what I’m talking about, but I don’t love the subject matter. What I do love is the transformation that happens when sellers who are not comfortable selling this stuff suddenly realize they can. And yes the one common thread in my journal has always been God was preparing me for the event that followed in my life. Sam’s perspective framed a reference that makes perfect sense to me. Semper fi from an old Marine.
My life–in some ways–has som similarity to yours. The story above doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t tell the “rest of the story.”
Yes, I was the keynote speaker, and I sat next to the Ivy League professor, and he gave me the keys to successful speaking, and my presentation was just fine (because God had prepared me).
What I didn’t share was what happened to my heart. After 25 years (in IT, owning a software company), I realized that I KNEW IT, but no longer loved it nor did I feel God had prepared me for just IT. I felt God leading me in a completely different direction…mostly because of that one conversation.
So, ask your heart. What do you think God has been preparing you for; something you know, love, and have been prepared for?
This is a real encouragement to me, I’m going through a time of “training in perseverence” which is NOT what I call it! I sense though that through this very difficult time that God has prepared me for what he has just around the corner, a new way of doing things, new ministry, new doors to walk through.
I am so glad I read “It’s your call”, I found that even though I had stepped out and was serving God, that was just part of the journey into my calling, not the actual calling itself.
If you read this may I ask that you pray for my wife and I, we are church-planting in Spain and having some real financial challenges with the tent-making
May the Lord be with you, lead you, speak to you, care for you, and provide for you!
I agree with you. God is doing deep preparation in you; preparation for the next “moment” and for a service that will be joyful and a natural expression of who you are. Remember Phil. 2:13, “For God is producuping in you [preparing you!] both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.” you will do what you most deeply want to do, and what you are deeply natural at doing.
Love this post my friend…..so rich and good. I’m meditating on it this morning. I love the the “we call it” column opposed to “God calls it” column……so helpful.
It would be interesting to expand that list with a few more “indicators” of God’s perspective. A few:
Tears of pain windows into what hurts us most
Tears of joy glimpses of what brings delight
Failure moving us to our truest selves
Notice I lease Spouse “undefined”…..I wonder what others might put there?
best to you, Mark.
I appreciate your story and particularly the lesson that our God can redeem our perspective, even though at times it is sometimes after the event has come and gone.
Your illustration of what ‘We Call it versus what God calls it is spot on”.
Our enemy has many tactics to get us to doubt our Savior’s goodness or provision during times of testing.
Currently going through God’s training in perseverance, discernment and righteousness.
Covet your prayers for God’s provision.
So timely as I read it today
I’m glad you said our whole lives has prepared us for “what we’re doing,” because I honestly don’t think that “what I’m doing”—even though it may indeed have a significant effect one or more lives—doesn’t produce any income and usually doesn’t even feel like it’s of any importance.
I was working, at least.
I was working towards something in college, at least.
I’ve had personal experiences that never gave me any official title or recognition.
And now I’m doing stuff that feels like I’m a kid who’s never needed any of those experiences to accomplish.
I need to print this out and tape it to my mirror to read daily. It reminds of a man I once met who felt like he was just beginning the work God had been preparing him for his whole life. He was 80 years old at the time he said that. He’s also one of the first 3 men to work with the Navigators Christian missions organization. Jim Downing was witnessing for Christ all over the world long before he got to 80.