The Difference Between Bigfoot, Unicorns and Discovering Your Calling.
Two of them are myths and one is for real.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you do, in fact, have a calling and it will always be consistent with advancing God’s plan for humanity. The more your plan is in synch with God’s plan, the more joy you experience. The bible talks about calling this way: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do the good works planned in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
And what are those good works? To spread His love to your family, your friends, to the sick, the homeless, the orphans, the widows, the oppressed, the imprisoned, the hungry, the thirsty and the spiritually lost who are separated from God by sin and Satan. Jesus had a crystal clear social and spiritual agenda that we are called to advance.
In The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose, and Balance, I mention that when I was going through Halftime in 2005, I was hoping for a different kind of calling. A me-centered calling not a God-centered calling. A calling defined by a fun culture and meaningful work that energized me. Something that I was naturally gifted at and could make a living at. I was excited about making a positive difference in peoples’ lives, but I wasn’t so sure I wanted it to be all about Jesus. That seemed a little extreme to me. For some odd reason, I thought making it God-centered would drown out the other elements I craved. I wanted my calling but not necessarily the Caller’s agenda.
In other words, I was still under the impression that the best way for me to have joy was to find a calling that was more about me than others.
But then a quote by Frederick Buechner got me thinking differently. He said“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” That struck a nerve. The apostle Luke recorded that Christ told the disciples “It is more blessed to give than receive.” (Acts 20:35)
I’ve come to see in my own life – and in the lives of the people I have coached over the years — that a life of all-out love of others is the formula for joy. A life where the forty to sixty hours we have every week between Monday and Friday are pure expressions of both who we are and of God’s love. A life where our passions, interests, and paychecks are the fully integrated equivalent of the highest, most noble, and most leveraged gift we could offer our fellow man. This is doable. All that’s required is the creativity, courage and a process to go do it.
Where I work, at the Halftime Institute, we help people through a process that helps people discover their calling. It’s actually quite simple — not easy, but simple.
- Find the cause in the world that makes your blood boil, breaks your heart or makes you giddy with happiness. In other words, what makes you mad, sad or glad.
- Next, figure out the skills and talents you enjoy using and apply them to that cause.
- Do it in a way that is obvious to all that God is the loving force powering your human effort.
Maybe what makes your blood boil is that the culture at your work is toxic, making everyone miserable, and you know it doesn’t have to be this way. What skills can you bring to change the culture to one of Christ-like love?
Or perhaps the damage we are doing to the earth that God entrusted us with breaks your heart. How can you get involved in saving our planet in a way that is not politicized, but instead points people back to God as creator and man as protector?
Or maybe you love golf. How can you use your time on the course with others to ask them about their lives and needs and become a helpful friend instead of just a golf partner?
The combinations between your passion, your skills, and God’s love are endless.
If you’re craving more joy, purpose, peace and balance in your life, my book outlines a process for experiencing those things. It also encourages those who are serious about going on this journey to engage a coach to help them along the way. As I said, it’s simple, but not easy. There are financial, emotional, spiritual, and marital dimensions that come into play.
Doing It Yourself is certainly an option. Many people with enough passion and discipline get it done. For others, they find it helpful to have a trained coach to guide them.
Here are some places to find a coach for yourself:
My encouragement is to sink yourself into finding your role within God’ big plan for humanity. It’s the pathway to great joy.