Your Calling Is Not Hiding and You Don’t Need to Seek It
Our anxious culture* has pushed us to find our passion, discover our calling, and quietly or not-so-quietly, freak out when we can’t or don’t.
We’re told that, like a diamond, I must search far and wide for it. Our calling is something that we must painstakingly uncover.
It’s difficult and some, maybe even many, never find it.
Can you feel the stress?
But, what if it’s actually our anxious search for our calling that is keeping us from experiencing one?
The reason that we find this so complicated is because there’s so much at stake for us in this search.
We’ve got just this one life and the clock is ticking for us to find that thing that is going to justify our life and make it all worth it, to show the world (and ourselves) that we matter.
The problem is that a thing that you do, will never do that for you.
This is all just a big confusing mess because we’re trying to create an identity out of what we do, instead of living out of who we are.
Our lives are much more deep and rich than something that we do. Our lives are craving something relational, something eternal, and something true.
The true calling we’re looking for is too much for words and deep enough to pursue forever. It is the substance of love and an antidote to our anxiety.
Our search for our calling, our search for _______________, is actually a search for God.
What you do is not the most important ingredient to a full and meaningful life.
Experiencing daily life as you really are, loved by God, is the most important ingredient to a meaningful life.
Once we live like this, no longer needing to prove anything, we may begin to notice that there are opportunities all around us.
Anxiety has a way of confusing and complicating everything.
Once we’re not relying on the things we do to fulfill us, we can notice that there are things, even simple things, that we enjoy and like that are all around us and we can begin to see them as opportunities to explore.
Once we live in a place of love, less fearful about failing, making mistakes, or counting ourselves out, we can see the opportunities that exist right now and we can simply try them.
When we live life from a place of being loved and loving others, we will experience a sense of calling through the value that our lives add to those around us.
So, what if our calling is not hiding from us? What if we don’t need to look for it?
What if our calling, or that thing that we would love to do, is actually looking for us?
Here’s 4 ideas for how we can become people more easily found by calling:
- Slow down: our frenetic pace of life causes us to miss opportunities and remain blind to things that are in plain sight. Years anxiously pass in busyness and we miss the whole point: life itself was a gift.
- Develop an authentic, transformative faith: without this, calling will always become what the biblical writers call ‘an idol’ — an imposter wanting your devotion and offering nothing in return. Once we slow down and develop an authentic relationship with God, our sense of vocational calling will become more simple and less anxiety-inducing.
- Become aware: Once we’re living more peacefully, we become aware of ourselves and our surroundings. It’s in this place that we can begin to recognize the things that we legitimately love and enjoy doing. We also become aware of those around us. In loving them, we discover the gifts that we can give to people that serve them well.
- Have fun: At this point, we can have fun. We lean into the things that we enjoy and the value we can create for people. There’s not much of a risk because we’re not trying to find ultimate meaning or purpose (that’s step 2 and I recommend following the life and teaching of Jesus), we’re simply playing in a planetary playground, amazed at the opportunity to be here.
*‘Our anxious culture’ is really just our collective anxiety mixed together and fermenting in our warming planet.
This is my daily project where I write about diverse ideas.
This is ‘Dose’ #19.