Each season of our life is made up of a unique blend of commitments and calling.
Commitments are the non-negotiable obligations in our life. Some bring great joy, like caring for a long awaited newborn. Some are expected: putting bread on the table, gas in the car and a roof over head. Some are hard: paying off debt incurred by a reckless ex-spouse, providing life-time care for a special-needs child, attending to the 24/7 care of a dying loved one.
These commitments fuel our transformation. God wastes nothing. Some of his best work happens in the hottest fires. Three things to keep in mind.
Soften your heart to the work transformation, even if you go into it kicking and screaming.
Tell of his goodness. Be ready (most days) to give an account of your hope. It can be awfully hard on the days when the trio rugged, brutal & grueling are pulling you under.
Last year, on day 6 of what turned into a 19 day hospital stay with my 15 year-old son, Joe, I began to question God. “Do you know all the ministry opportunities I’m missing at home?” (My husband and I run a summer children’s camp and I was missing the beginning of camp.)
“Do you know how many you’re missing here?”
I wasn’t fully convinced. Being 3 hours from home, my heart was breaking for all my kids.
“Joe can’t take the pain. I can’t take watching him in pain. My crew at home is on their last leg”
“I’m working on them, too. They’re learning how to trust. They’ll have something to tell. Trust and Tell. Give it a try.”
God was right. The harder the trust factor, the greater the story. God lands on center stage. He promises stories for us to share of his presence and provision. Our commitment to our commitments will bring God glory.
Our calling (which can change from season to season) makes use of our negotiable “free” time. It may be what we get paid to do. It may be what we “do” on a volunteer basis. It may be a dream in the making. It’s where our gifts, energy and passion collides with a need. Teaching ESL. Coaching. Playing drums. Sending notes. Making things work.
What energizes you?
Kayaking? Reading? Carpentry? Knitting? Travel? Organizing? Cars?
The world tells us to “go for it” with gusto, but the ensuing pursuit is sometimes self-centered. In the end, my passion consumes hours, but it’s all about me, myself and I.
How can the “thing” that energizes me build-bridges to new friends? Meet a need? Cast a vision? Serve those who are marginalized, neglected, forgotten?
God is ready to tell us.
But we need to ask. Pay attention. Listen well. This is where rest comes in. Quiet places attune our hearts whispers and marching orders.
Our calling uses our gifts, spotlights our priorities and provides an avenue to steward our time well. There are seasons of life where there may be little time to pursue our calling. Wait is one the hardest, holiest words there is.
I have a dear friend who sees her calling as being a PWT – a Person With Time. She’s available–available to watch the children of a mom overcome with the stomach flu. She bakes Christmas cookies with middle schoolers. She drives older adults to doctor appointments. Chaperones field trips. Finds a low-cost plumber for a family in need. The list goes on. No week is the same and no one she serves is either. Are you a PWT? Do you see it as a calling? Hope you do!
When embracing our calling (paid, volunteer or on-call), burnout will nip at our heels. Satan cheers when we forfeit the race. Sustainability matters. Rest is the key. Rhythm provides routine oasis along way.
Is This Your First Time Here?
Run hard. Rest well. launched in March 2013. We’d like to invite you to subscribe to this weekly blog. The information to do so is located on the right hand side of this page. I’d also like to encourage you to read the first 11 weeks of posts on the right hand side. (But no rush. Go slow.) Start with Week 1. Each post is numbered and lays an important foundational insight into the life-giving rhythm Run hard. Rest well.
God’s richest blessings.