When your calling scares you

I’ve been mulling about calling again these last few weeks. I haven’t really actively researched calling in several years but it’s resurfacing in my own life. I want to talk about how a calling scares us sometimes. There’s a quote that’s lingering in my mind these days. It’s from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis and it’s near the end of the book when evil Uncle Miraz has been defeated.

“Welcome, Prince,” said Aslan. “Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?”
“I – I don’t think I do, Sir,” said Caspian. “I am only a kid.”
“Good,” said Aslan. “If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”

This quote has always stood out to me powerfully. I remember watching the movies as a kid and thinking that was such an odd thing for Aslan to say.

Now it doesn’t feel so odd. While this probably qualifies as “vaguebooking” because I’m not going to go into details (sorry!), this quote really hits home for me right now. I feel a much stronger tug to a calling in my life that has mostly lain dormant so far. I recognized it in my early twenties and yet have never really acknowledged it until now because . . . well, frankly, it’s scary. It’s not a calling I want. I look at it and I see a lot of pain and problems. I dread the idea of it. Even acknowledging its existence has felt like too big, too hard of a step to take so I’ve ignored it as long as possible. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am not “sufficient” for it.

And yet it’s there. I can’t shake it. Certain events keep making it clear to me. Have you ever had one of those moments in your life, where someone else names the thing you won’t name yourself and it feels like the entire universe shifts into place? And then you go home and think you’re being entirely way too dramatic? That happened to me recently and it’s been so interesting to see myself run away from it. I thought I was all about follow my callings but this one I don’t want. This one is too scary for me.

And yet the beauty of a calling is really, that I don’t have to be sufficient for it. Callings require more from us than we can ever give out of our own strength. God prepares us. He does the work in us and through us. It’s not up to me.

I think when your calling scares you, it’s probably a good sign you’re on the right track.