How To Be Captured By Your Calling In Life

Part 1 of a multi-part blog series about your life's calling

Your life's calling

You want to know what your calling is.

This inner desire to find meaning, significance, and purpose fuels you. It is something that presses you forward. An undeniable tension which refuses to let you go.

When other people seem happy, content, or even blessed, you can’t completely identify. Why? Because deep down inside you there is a hunger for more. The quest to find your life’s true identity draws you ever deeper into the journey.

Other people can’t quite understand you. Are you happy? Yes; but the unsettledness of something greater allures you to go forward on this journey of discovery. It is an ever-drawing force that compels you. Deep down inside you know that there is more. More for your life. More for your family. More than just a life.

The more you seek is a calling.

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Everyone has a calling. One of my most deeply held beliefs is that every person, no matter their status, origin, or present circumstance, has a calling that desperately needs to be lived out. Jeff Goins describes calling in this article as the ability to “see what’s always been there.”

Calling is something you are born with and something that can be developed.

God designs our calling from before the moment we are born, according to scripture.

Psalm 139:16 NLTse

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

This call is the place of fulfillment. Dreams seem to materialize when we reach and live in our call. Calling, however, can be elusive. It can be difficult to see, hard to find, and even more challenging to capture the calling for which you were created.

So how does a person go about finding their call?

Let me say this first, I believe there may be more than one calling on your life. Chances are good that your life can have fulfillment, meaning, and purpose through multiple ventures. These are quite possibly discovered over time.

What about the initial contact with your call? How does a person find it? How do you come to the moment when calling seems clear?

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For me, it was a series of moments which led up to the discovery of my initial calling.

I am a pastor.

Don’t let that throw you. Ministry is definitely marginalized these days; and in some cases rightfully so, as people use their ministry position for their own benefit. Not all pastors are bad, however. Some pastors love their church, their family, and their God with all their heart. Although, I’m not perfect, I strive to be the latter.

I remember the moment when a small thought crossed my mind. Nothing more than a fleeting thought, captured only by the fear it inspired in me.

How to be captured by your call in life

At no time have I ever considered myself a public speaker. Like many, I recall the assignments in high school which required a student to be upfront and present material to the class, as some of the most frightening days of my life.

Being in front of any sort of group made me feel sick.

So when the thought of preaching first crossed my mind, I was terrified and immediately dismissed it as one of those dumb thoughts we all have from time to time. Those thoughts that leave us wondering, “where did that come from?”

Over the next three years or so, one of these momentary, terrifying, thoughts would intersect with my mind. It was as if I was being led towards an eventual outcome; and the end result would be preaching.

I ran from it.

That is until I found myself in a place of no escape and ultimately gave in to something which seemed scary, unknown, and out of place.

It felt like I had been captured by my call; and I can say with all truthfulness, as soon as I gave in to the calling that had been hunting me down for so long, there came an immediate, deep sense of relief, satisfaction, joy, excitement, and hunger to follow this thing which had been following me.

There was an instant turn around.

Something that I never enjoyed before, became one of the greatest joys and means of expression that I have. I also realized a calling is something that goes deeper in your life than something you just enjoy. A calling is part of who you are.

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In this article, John Dewey is quoted, defining a calling as, “a continuous activity having a purpose.”

This definition is true. Your calling has been there all along. Even if you haven’t found it yet, it is there. Is it entirely possible that your calling is hunting you down at this moment? I believe so. Your next opportunity may be the moment where your calling begins to materialize. Maybe you will recognize it during the course of a casual conversation, or in a time of deep reflection. Finding your calling could be as simple as opening your eyes to what is already in front of you.

One thing is for sure, your calling will set you on fire with activity that has a purpose.

I believe it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for.

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Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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