Calling is a funny word.
Lots of people have different thoughts about what it means. Some people freak out that they haven’t figured out their calling yet. Others may have known theirs from an early age. And still others won’t put too much stock in it because to them, a job is a job is a job.
Since becoming a Christian, I’ve heard the word used more times than I ever have in my life. It’s like as soon as you become a Christian, your vocabulary has to change and you start tossing around words like “intentional” and “unpack” and “calling” - as if Jesus only likes it when you use those phrases. I digress...
So when I looked up the word in the dictionary, it told me that calling was:
Well heck, then I wanted to know what vocation meant:
This resonated with me. Does it tug at you? Calling is requiring of great dedication. Now, that’s something we’re not used to in today’s culture. We’re all about instant gratification and become disinterested with anything that’s too hard or takes too long. I’m guilty of it myself from time to time.
But what I loved about this definition of vocation is that it directly aligns with how we should be viewing a “calling”. It’s not always easy. It can actually be downright terrifying. It’s not always the popular route. It requires a lot of dedication. And it might take up the majority of your time.
But it’s always worthy and honorable.
Take my dear friend, Anne, for instance. She is one of the most selfless, generous, good-natured, lovely human beings I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. I mean, the woman tears up over commercials where people are reconciled, gives even if she lacks and shows up when you need her most - with some queso and margaritas in tow. She’s a social worker with a massive heart for the homeless and loves her residents with every fiber of her being. She was made for this role. In my opinion, she is a person who saw her strengths, aligned her passion and went for it. I mean, not many people could get up every day and face the challenges that come with being a social worker at a housing facility for formerly homeless individuals in Manhattan. But she does it with such grace, patience and fortitude. I wish I could be half the person she is. Truly.
She is so fearless in her vocation. She’d never categorize herself as such, but she is. And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that her work is worthy and it impacts. Big time.
Now Anne is about to take her calling to the next level. She’s quitting her job and about to head overseas to the Greek island of Lesbos to volunteer in a network of refugee camps for seven weeks. She’s been selected to be a part the PsychoSocial Support team where they are specifically looking for social workers. Talk about alignment. And bravery. And selflessness. Oh and did I mention she’s also paying for it out of pocket?
Again, callings are costly. They require only-God-can-make-this-happen kind of faith. And it’s inspiring to see people like Anne go for broke (she’d probably say, “Literally”) for work that they're passionate about. With that, I’d encourage you to think - am I stepping out on a limb? Am I doing what I was uniquely made to do? Or am I just going through the motions?
Perhaps it’s time to do one of those crazy-faith-required things.
For me, laying down my finances is one way that I have watched God move. Sometimes that crazy-faith-required thing is loosening the grip on $50, $100 to give to someone who is making an impact. I’d love if you joined me in supporting Anne on her mission. We all talk about how awful the refugee crisis is - but have you ever done anything about it? Too many times we’re all talk and no action.
No longer my friends. It’s time to act.
I’m going to make it stupid easy for you to make an impact. Head over to Anne’s crowdfunding page to read more about her story, share it on Facebook to spread the word and give what you can to her calling. You now have a face and a name to someone who is actually on the ground, tangibly extending hope to people who feel hopeless.