Calling can be a confusing term which some equate to career and others to a religious vocation. For today, I thought I’d share some basic definitions from a few different author’s perspectives.
According to John P. Schuster in Answering Your Call, calls are invitations from life to serve a cause. He writes, “A call is the impulse to move ahead in a meaningful way. Calls are the source of lasting creativity in our lives.”
Have you ever felt like you had an invitation from life? What causes do you want to serve? What do you care about?
Os Guinness, author of The Call, defines calling as “the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and services . . . Calling is the ultimate why for living in all of history.” He goes on to say that, “we are not primarily called to do something or go somewhere, we are called to Someone.”
Do you feel like you have an ultimate why for living? What do you think of the idea that a calling implies someone calling you?
In Whistle While You Work, Richard Leider and David Shapiro write, “A calling is not something you do to impress other people or to get rich quick. It’s a labor of love that is intrinsically satisfying.”
What do you do that is intrinsically satisfying? Think about what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about.
Another helpful way to understand calling is to define what it is not. Paula McGee takes this route in her article “Calling vs. Career.” She explains that calling is who you are, but a career is what you do. “A calling is what you would do for free. A career is what they have to pay you do.” She sums up her definition of calling as, “that which the Creator sent you to the planet to do. It is your purpose in life—your gift to the world. If you choose your calling you will find a job that you love and as the saying goes, ‘Find a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.'”
If you could give one gift to the world, what would it be? What would you consider your purpose in life?
Spend some time this week thinking about what you would say in response to each of these questions and share an answer in the comments section. I’d love to hear your thoughts.