What Is Calling?
Our goal in life is to reach a clear sense of calling, mission or vocation. This can be achieved when your values and passions meet your gifts, talents and strengths, while making the most of personal agency and opportunity.
Are you in a time of transition and asking these questions:
What is my calling, vocation or mission in life?
After working abroad, how do I best re-enter the realities of the work world in my home country?
What is the best next step toward a new vocation or career?
This website brings together practical tools and resources to assist you, following in the order of the tabs above. Or feel free to jump into the tools that are most appropriate for your current life situation!
Finding that place where your passions and talents meet to address needs of the world is a true gift. A job pays the bills. A calling is a core part of one’s identity and integral to your life. Finding a career (where you get paid for what you do) that fulfills your passions, talents and the needs of the world is like icing on the cake!
As followers of Jesus we all have a calling to fulfill a mission, wherever we are and in whatever we do. God’s mission is going on all around us in this world, and as Jesus’ followers we have a unique purpose in God's overall mission in the world.
A calling from God for service of any kind isn’t necessarily a calling to a place, or with a particular profession. A sense of God’s calling is about commitment to loving God and loving neighbor in whatever we do every day (Matt. 22:36-39). This is really the underlying mission in the world for all of us, to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves; a call to loving action. It is our job is simply to look around us with anticipation and expectancy and ask God to plug us into his mission all around us, whatever that means, and however that looks in our particular situation; to begin with loving prayerful action in response to what we see around us. Our mission relates to all parts of our lives, including the seemingly small things we do every day.
This kind of calling from God is accompanied by a sense of joy. If we’re committed to being part of God’s mission in the world, as individuals and as a community, God places a deep sense of desire, joy and call on our hearts that connect us with his mission that is going on all around us in the world every day already. At the same time, we have to be patient with God's timing, and prayerfully discern what personal aspirations are realistic.
It's up to us to look for our calling every day like a treasure, with anticipation and prayerful expectancy, and to respond to what we see around us through loving action.
Calling - A strong urge towards a particular way of life or career; a vocation. A profession or occupation.
Mission – A continuing task or responsibility that one is destined or fitted to do or specially called upon to undertake.
Vocation - A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation. A person’s employment or main occupation especially regarded as worthy and requiring dedication. Trade or profession.
Career - An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. Working permanently in or committed to a particular profession.
“There are ‘moments of decision’ every day…when you stand at a spiritual crossroads, with two ways lying before you…The one will lead to less gratitude, less kindness, less forgiveness, less honesty, or less love in the world. The other will lead to more gratitude, more kindness, more forgiveness, more honesty, or more love in the world. Your Mission, each moment, is to seek to choose the latter spiritual road, rather than the former, every time.”
— Richard N. Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute?
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
— Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC
“Life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which life constantly sets for each individual.”
— Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
“Each of us is called to be someone and to do things – it is part of human existence – and discovering these things is a life-long process of growth and change…The original meaning of “vocation” is work that calls us to connect our God-given gifts and passions with God’s activity in the world. A vocation is a calling that merges our mission in life with God’s mission on earth. As Frederick Buechner puts it, “The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” That intersecting point is your calling, your vocation. Vocation could be work that is outside your wage-earning sphere of activity…There is nothing wrong with planning a career, but God usually has deeper and larger plans than we can imagine…We are on a journey in which God gives us constantly evolving options, depending upon our choices and the choices of others.”
— Becky Horst, Job, career, vocation: The difference is in the calling
10 “And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. 11 “And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. 12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.”
— Isaiah 58:10-12
"Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself."
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Your calling is what makes your heart beat faster.”
— Elizabeth O'Connor, Cry Pain, Cry Hope
“A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without a vision is drudgery; a vision and a task is the hope of the world.”
— Inscription on an old English Church
Next page: Step 1: Take Care Of Yourself