I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
Growing up, my mom was always asking me, “What are you waiting on? Do you need a special invitation?” You see, I was not the most punctual child, and she was always having to follow along behind me to prompt and push. It’s a problem that can still sneak up on me if I’m not careful and sometimes even when I am.
Late to the dinner table? “Do you need a special invitation?”
Last in the car on Sunday mornings? “Do you need a special invitation?”
Less than enthusiastic about the latest chore? Yep. “Special invitation?”
I knew what needing a special invitation just to be where I was supposed to be or to do what I was supposed to do implied, and it is wasn’t flattering. But it didn’t always keep me from dragging my feet or getting distracted and holding up the show… mainly because (as silly as it sounds) I didn’t realize the dragging or distractions were happening until it was too late…
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s not just places and appointments that we have to show up for, but it’s life too. And a lot of people seem to live their lives like I do. We get busy with the things that seem important in the moment and forget about the larger story our lives are supposed to be writing.
Isn’t life funny like that?
When it comes to our callings and purpose, we let time slip past, as if we are waiting for a special invitation just to be where we’re supposed to be and do what we’re supposed to do in the first place.
Many of us have dreams, but we live our lives in a holding pattern, waiting for God to show us that special, perfect path or that perfect time, or just simply holding out, wishing, instead of pursuing God’s Word to make the most of the lives we are actually living right now.
But here’s the wake-up call. This is it. Right now. The big show. The last dance. Your shot.
For some of us, fear and uncertainty causes us to shrink from what our calling might actually look like when we apply it to the life right in front of us- fear of others’ opinions, fear of financial change, fear of failure, fear that it’s too late, fear of having missed God in this calling thing altogether. For others of us, it’s vanity or selfish ambition. (Ouch! Lord, forgive me!)
It can seem safer to dream of doing rather than starting where we are, using what we have, and doing what we can with what we have right now. Safer than taking that first step, or just doing the next good thing for someone else around us who needs it. Dreaming instead of doing keeps risk, change … and often times the real, hard work that has to take place inside of us and out… out there somewhere on the horizon, at a safe distance, tucked away for another day.
Either way, the results are us settling for an existence based on and limited by the world’s standards for our lives instead of God’s creative design for them. Instead of making choices based on how the Kingdom functions, we make choices based on our reason and how the world works. And it’s not just us that misses out, but everyone our lives are meant to impact.
God has planted His kind of greatness inside you. You have a significant purpose not because of who you are, but because of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of you! The person you were created to be really does have a role in the things God plans to accomplish on this earth during your lifetime. Don’t wait for a special invitation to start building a solid foundation in His Word and begin using your skills, abilities, and talents to bless those around you. It’s never too early and it’s never too late. If you’re still on this earth, it’s your time to run your good race now. Just like getting to the dinner table or into the car, we’ve got to show up. And I mean really show up.
Hebrews 12:1:2, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7-8, I Corinthians 9:24, Philippians 2:16
Do you have a dream that uses your skills, abilities, and talents to fulfill a need or role or even create something that will bless others? How do you know if your dreams line up with God’s calling on your life? When should you get started? Knowing your purpose and destiny may be easier than you think. Here are 5 questions you should be asking about your hopes and dreams for your life.
- Does my dream use my actual talents and abilities? Have I considered those talents that God has placed in me but maybe I have not discovered yet? Does my dream stretch my talents and abilities beyond what I can accomplish on my own, requiring me to rely on Him instead of myself and what I am confident in to get it done?
- Does my dream keep me spiritually where I am, or will it require me to grow and develop a more Christ-like character?
- Does my dream bless anyone other than myself and how?
- Will it ultimately glorify me or God? Does my sense of value and worth come from what I see myself doing, or does it come from who I am in Christ? Am I excited to contribute because I can see making a real difference? Or am I excited to contribute because I really see that I can get something I want or need out of it or that it will make me important?
- Does it allow me to keep the “first things” first? Or does it compete with or take away from my primary stewardships? (God does not call us to conflicting purposes.) ____Cultivating and maintaining an active relationship with Christ. ____Tending your home and family. ____Being the Gospel within your circles of influence.
If you haven’t yet, check out 3 Divine Stewardships to Declutter Your Pencil Cup of Life and When It Comes to Callings, We’ve Got Hang Ups to learn more about God’s callings and purposes for your life!