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Discerning Your Calling

Jesus bids us follow. Much of what it means to follow Jesus applies across the board to every apprentice of Christ – all of us are called to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, go the second mile, be servants, forgive limitlessly, work for justice, stand with the oppressed, care for creation, be faithful and truthful, and disciple the nations.

Beyond what we’re all called to do, we have individual paths. Peter, referring to John, asked Jesus, “What shall this man do?” Jesus essentially said it’s none of your business. Worry about yourself. Peter’s task was to feed and care for God’s lambs, God’s little ones, those Jesus referred to as “least” in Matthew 25.

Each of us have different personalities, different gifts, different inclinations, different specific callings in life. Some seem to have always known where they were heading. My oldest daughter knew she wanted to be an elementary educator from an early age. Others of us aren’t so sure.

Try lots of things. Try your hand at all the trades – bricklaying, carpentry, electrical work, computer repair, and so on. Take the introductory class in everything in your local college – literature, history, psychology, sociology, mathematics, engineering, biology, astronomy, intro to Chinese. If you’re white, be sure to take Black History. If you’re not Native, take Indigenous Studies. Learn from those who are different from yourself. Don’t simply reinforce your biases. Branch out, learn new areas. What are you good at doing? What excites you? For what do you have a passion?

For what and for whom do you have a heart? Are you concerned for refugees? The sick? Elderly infirmed? Air pollution? Corporate greed? Political corruption? Injustice? Those who are addicted or incarcerated? What upsets you, gets your blood boiling?

Combine what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing, with what you care most about. How do they fit together? Perhaps you have a passion for the poor and a talent for nursing. Inner city hospitals and free clinics might be a place to start. If you love biology and kids, teach science. Use your carpentry skills on short-term mission projects or volunteer at faith-based camps. Are you an architect? Design affordable housing for the homeless. You get the idea.

How and where might you use your gifts and knowledge to further God’s love and kingdom?

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