What a very beguiling concept. We proudly declare it as if we’ve gotten an email that spells out exactly what we should do and how we should do it. And then we blithely talk about it as if we always knew it and are completely comfortable living it out. Or we dismiss the concept completely.
For Moses, receiving his calling played out into a conversation with God filled with ambivalence & uncertainty. After being asked by God to go to Egypt and confront the most powerful leader on the planet, he peppered God with questions. Why me? Who should I say is sending me? How will I know that you’re with me? What if they don’t believe me? We read a complex conversation between God and Moses, as Moses hashes out what this calling will mean for his life. This is what calling looks like in someone’s actual life.
And as the conversation is wrapping up, Moses gets really vulnerable: “Pardon me, Lord. Please send someone else.”
I love this interchange. It reflects honesty and even a desire to run. I believe Moses said this because not only had he heard the calling, but he was also counting the cost. This was going to take all of his energy, for the rest of his life. And he wasn’t sure if he was the right guy for the job.
I believe calling is, at its most basic level, God asking you to do something. We get lots of these over the course of a lifetime. Some are life-altering earthquakes that shake our foundation. Others are tremors. In fact, most of them are small. But they’re all callings, because God is calling you to do something. And they all require a response.
So here are five questions to ask yourself as you wrestle with your own sense of calling:
- What is God specifically asking me to do? Callings often come in the form of a request from God, and they’re actually pretty specific. Moses wasn’t just called to be a leader, he was called to go into Egypt and confront the most powerful person in the world.
- What will I need to let go of? What will I need to embrace? As you get clearer on a calling, you’ll move towards some things, and away from other things. Some of these may be painful.
- What are my honest, and even tactical, questions? How will this work? What am I afraid of? Where do I start? Saying your questions out loud is a sign that you’re actually counting the cost & starting to move towards it.
- Where, specifically, do I need help from God? The disciples were teenagers. Moses stuttered. Callings are bigger than you are. You can’t do it alone. You need help.
- What is my first step? What is the one small step you need to take right now before you go the whole way?
Was this helpful? What would you add to this list?
(Tomorrow, my friend Jenny Hill is going to be guest posting about her own sense of calling. She is a good friend and one of the true heroes in my life. Please check back in tomorrow – it’s beautiful and poignant.)