Today’s guest blog post comes from a friend and fellow writer, Josh! John and I got to know Josh and his wife in our church’s group of young married couples. Here are some of his thoughts on calling. Thanks for sharing!
In a blog dedicated to finding your calling, a rule of thumb might seem like a shortcut. I believe that we’re called to do more than just one thing. We have one or more major callings in our life such as being a missionary, and various minor callings. These minor callings can range from learning to cook to reading scripture daily.
Where do you spend your time?
The biggest challenge in nailing down our (minor) callings are positive pastimes. How do you tell the difference between positive pastimes and true callings? The simple answer is time.
When you’re called to do something, you find time for it. It will occupy your free time, or you’ll free up your schedule for it. An example from my life was learning to play the guitar. It was definitely a minor calling (you’ll never see me on tour with Third Day!), but I made time for lessons and practice (and more practice!). I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve reached a point where I can strum through most praise and worship songs. This minor calling has literally helped me to give voice to my worship.
Positive pastimes are good options for our time, but if we never seem to get around to them, they may just be options. To use another personal example, learning Spanish has been high on my list of things to do yet I never seem to find time for it. Is learning Spanish a worthwhile pastime? Absolutely! Is it a calling? Probably not.
Write it down
A quick, helpful exercise is to take ten minutes and write out some short term goals. These goals are how you want to spend your free time or vacation over the next few years and may translate into your minor callings. Post the list in a conspicuous place so you can refer to it regularly (you want to be able to see the whole list). After six months, take time to revisit the list. What did you accomplish? What did you spend your time on? What did you ignore completely? If you passionately pursued something, it may very well be a calling. Reevaluate your list and update as necessary, revisiting again six months later.
Why does it matter?
There’s an immense sense of fulfillment that comes from revisiting your goals and seeing what you’ve accomplished. The exercise is also a good way to catch items that you may still feel called to do, but were unable to for reasons beyond your control (time, money, etc.). Also, it will help you remove things from the list that shouldn’t be there (and mentally let go of them). Finally, your minor callings may very well lead to the main callings in your life. How many photographers, musicians and chefs started out as hobbyists?
About the Author
Josh Baldwin lives in Burlington, Washington and works in business development for Quantum Construction. He has yet to nail down his major calling(s) and passionately pursues his minor callings of guitar, writing and being a Godly father and husband. And yes, Spanish is still on his list.