Spiritual Formation

The Most Common Misconception about “Calling”

A quick Google search for “what is my calling?” yields one billion, thirty million websites for your perusal—hopefully enough information to get you pointed in the right direction. Right?!

As you might imagine, the content on said websites is as varied as our understanding of the subject itself. Everyone from Forbes to Oprah to Tiny Buddha wants to weigh in on the issue and add some helpful advice.

“Check your values,” one site suggests.

“Follow your passions,” another recommends. “Find what captivates your imagination. Do more of what brings you joy.”  

Still another life coach advises you to answer the following questions, and thereby find your way:

  • What is your message to the world?
  • What did you imagine yourself doing as a kid?
  • What are your dreams and visions?
  • What work would you never do again, no matter how much money you were paid?

Other common advice takes a slightly different, more pragmatic approach:

  • Find a problem to solve.
  • Follow your frustrations.
  • Do what’s right in front of you.

But very few websites address what—I believe—is the most important, most fundamental truth about the nature of our “calling.” And that is this…

If we are listening for a “call,” someone must be doing the call-ing.

As Os Guinness writes in his classic book, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life, “There is no calling unless there is a Caller.”

Some writers do seem to recognize and acknowledge this need for a “caller,” but they locate that “caller” in some sub-par places.

“Listen to your life,” one site advises.

Many others recommend, “Heed your inner voice.”

But as followers of Jesus Christ, we understand that the One who calls is also the One who created. He made us for His purpose and calls us for His glory.

We must also, then, recognize this…

His primary call on our lives is to Himself.

“First and foremost we are called to Someone (God), not to something (such as motherhood, politics, or teaching) or to somewhere (such as the inner city or Outer Mongolia)” (Guinness).

So, if we are wrestling with our “calling,” if we are wanting more clarity on what we ought to “do with our lives,” our first order of business must be to deepen our intimacy with the Creator, and thereby train our ears to more clearly hear His call.

This is the second post in a series on how to clarify our CALLING.  Read the introductory post here

And stay tuned for more posts in the weeks to come.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, and stories on the subject!

I invite you to email me, comment here, or find me on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “The Most Common Misconception about “Calling”

  1. Amen! If there is a call, then there must be a caller; a point that’s surprisingly very easy to miss. Thanks very much for sharing, Kelli. Many blessings to you!

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