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Toward Wholeness Blog

The Algebra of Your Life: x+y=Calling

As you might know, I believe there are six foundational questions that every person answers, either intentionally or subconsciously. How we answer those questions will determine how we live our lives. Right now, the material on the website, podcast, and youtube channel are related to answering the question: ”How, specifically, am I called to bless the world?”

If you disagree with the premise of the question, your answer will be something like this: “I’m NOT called to bless the world. I’m called to a life of health, wealth, and happiness” or “There’s not a specific way, there are a million ways. I’ll pick whatever I want and go after it” or any of a dozen other responses that free one from actively looking for one’s true destiny.

Those who agree, though, that we’re created, as Paul says to the Ephesians, “for (specific) good works that God has ordained we should walk in…” will take the question seriously, and I believe they’d be wise. I say that because each of us are unique body/soul/spirit expressions, and as such, have ways of serving and blessing our world that are unique. There are a few things that I can do better than most people. The same is true for you. We’re at our best when we discover what those few things are, and then invest time and energy into developing and using those gifts.

In the algebra above, gifts = x. If we believe God’s interactions with people in the Bible, we’ll see that there’s also a “y” to find: "context". God cared that Moses use his gifts in Egypt, confronting Pharoah regarding the enslavement of the Jewish people. Jonah was gifted to speak, but it was intended to be used in Ninevah. Paul was gifted to lead and establish churches, but though he wanted to do so among Jewish people, God wanted his work to unfold among gentiles.

Los Angeles or Paris?

Among the educated or the illiterate?

In a place and time where my work will be well received, or a place of resistance?

Sole proprietor or CEO of a large company?

Stay “in my craft” or promote to management?

Buy or rent?

Monetize the use of my gift or use it as a volunteer?

As you can see, there are lots of possible contexts for every gift, and the reality is that while gifts usually remain the same, contexts will change over the course of a lifetime. This is one reason the subject of discovering one’s calling isn’t just for young adults, it’s for everyone. Even if you know you're gifted to teach, write, cook, lead, the question of where and how you’ll do that will continue to change as your life circumstances change. We need to keep listening and learning!

Incorporate the two habits I mention in the video below into your life, and I believe you’ll be well on your ways to finding the x (gifts) and y (context) that is your calling!

Other resources:

In this podcast, my friend John Harrington shares how the combination of "something within" him, and encouragement received in community combined to lead him to his calling of professional harpist. His gift has put him in touch with some of worlds greatest music and musicians, but he also shares how important it is to "keep showing up fully" to our gift.

Here's part one of this mini-series on finding your calling.

I'm excited for a planned series of new videos this summer about where the "heart" concept of our spiritual life intersects with our care our literal, physical heart. If you subscribe, you won't miss a beat.

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