Are You Calling Yourself?


I just returned from 2 weeks in Ethiopia and Kenya. The next several blog entries are observations, learning and Holy Spirit moments from my time there.



Calling is the powerful intersection of passion and motivated abilities. It elicits powerful emotions and focuses your deepest attention.


John Ortberg describes calling as “the joy I know when my level of challenges reaches the level of my gifts, and I am consumed by neither boredom nor anxiety, but simply grace.” To hear your calling, and more importantly, to respond in courageous, obedient action, is to truly live in grace.


In marketing terms, a brand that is enduring and robust is said to “fully occupy its space.” But, the genesis of that strong brand is a real need in the world to which that brand is the best solution. To be called is to fully occupy your space in the world.


The essential insight is that calling in life and in work is an obedient response, not a self-motivated action.


In both Kenya and Ethiopia, I saw numerous examples of projects and initiatives that were begun by well-intentioned ministries and people that had called themselves to the mission field. The danger is that ultimately, they deliver something that nobody wants or for which there are insufficient people on the ground to follow through. Buildings are vacated, wells are abandoned and orphans are deserted.


Frederick Buechner defines calling as, “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Both sides of the equation are crucial—your deep gladness, fueled by passion and equipped by giftedness, and the world’s deep hunger, created by real needs for which there aren’t current solutions.


Are you calling yourself? Or, are you scanning the landscape of your neighborhood, job, family or world, and discerning a real need to which your life is the best answer?


DO less. BE more