Called

“Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1

The Bible is filled with stories of people who were called by God.

  • Abram was called to leave his homeland and journey to an unknown place.
  • Moses was called from being a shepherd to leading the Israelites out of slavery.
  • Isaiah was called in a vision to speak words of judgment and hope to the nation of Israel.
  • A group of fishermen were called to follow Jesus.
  • Paul was called to leave his life as a Pharisee and become a witness for Jesus.

These are just a few of the biblical call stories. The question is, how are you experiencing God’s call in your life? We all get “called” throughout life.

Sometimes God’s call comes from outside of us. Having a baby calls us into parenthood. A job offer calls us into a vocation. The loss of a loved one calls us into a new identity.

Sometimes God’s call comes from within us. A sense of restlessness calls us to explore new opportunities. An inner “nudge” prompts us to reconnect with an old friend. A verse of scripture suddenly comes to mind and compels us to live differently.

All this, and more, is God’s call in our lives.

I’ve been trying to listen carefully for the theme of “calling” in people’s conversations, and what I’ve discovered has been fascinating. Here’s a quick summary:

  • It’s everywhere. Seriously, I hear it daily.
  • People don’t tend to use the language of “calling.” Instead they talk about “discerning my next step,” “getting a clear sense of direction” or “finding my purpose.”
  • People who don’t use spiritual language often discuss this topic with the assumption that there is a path they are supposed to follow. They talk about seeking for what they “should” do, what they are “supposed” to do, as if there’s already a plan.
  • Most people don’t think they know how to discern God’s calling in their lives. They would benefit from and appreciate a companion on the journey…like a coach, a spiritual director, or a spiritual friend.
  • People are hungry for conversation about this topic, however they articulate it. They sense that there is deep meaning and purpose in the many callings of their life and they want to explore them.

So, what’s your call story? How have you sensed God’s call in your life? Leave a comment.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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  • Jim Becker

    I’ve experienced many ‘callings”. A couple due to big life tragedies. Long stories but I will say this about traumatic events, they can make you drop your defenses of fear and embarrassment so you might boldly follow God thinking,” what have I got to lose now?” Most times however, callings are a feeling, or a scripture that has you rereading it for some reason, or a series of coincidences. The roads they lead you down can be spending time with someone, volunteering for something or attending an event. These roads are often very rewarding, sometimes a bit painful in some way, and sometimes seem to go nowhere. I pray I may continue down many of the roads I’m now on and look for new ones as well because each one I take I run the risk of bringing God’s Kingdom to this earth.