by Dave B
An essay about the process, not destination, of being called by God.
|Will you live a life worthy of your calling?
Scores of people have been called by God. Billy Graham was called by God to preach and evangelize to millions. Mother Theresa was called to the poor and dying in the slums of Calcutta. Jerry Falwell was called by God to declare that the attack on the World Trade Center was perpetrated on the United States due to rampant homosexuality. David Koresh’s calling involved automatic weapons in the Branch Davidian compound in Waco where he held psychological sway over his “followers.” Callings can be dangerous propositions. How can people believing to be called by the same God carry out their callings in opposite ways?
The problem of the calling comes when it is seen as a destination and not a process. The person being called views this destination much like a traveler on a distant highway, passing green signs with reflective white paint announcing the distance yet to be traveled before arrival. The road serves no purpose but to transport the called as expediently as possible to this destination. Therefore, hitchhikers go ignored, rest stops are utilized as a necessary evil, and landmarks and scenery become as blurred as the white lines that snake across the charred pavement.
Once the appropriate mile-marker has been passed and the destination reached, it is not a sunlit mountain summit or an altar carved from dark granite, but a fast food pick-up window. The calling is blindfolded, tied up, and gagged as the tires squeal to continue on the journey: the calling hijacked to meet the driver’s needs. The calling has no say in direction, no voice of purpose; it is simply a means to an end. This is not a calling, but a manipulation used to further one’s agenda.
A true calling occurs deep within the dense forests of life. A soft whisper is heard on the wind--a voice that beckons to come. There is no paved path or markered highway to follow. The voice is the only beacon, but it seems to lead into the very heart of the forest. Following the voice is trying; low hanging willow branches cut across bare skin, tanglewood roots trip up, and the voice once so clear now is barely audible.
It would seem rational to abandon this call as an apparition of the mind, a trick of sound. Uncertainty abounds. But Truth and certainty are rarely seen together. Indeed, uncertainty may be one of the greatest of God’s graces. It is in these moments of uncertainty when the growth of the forest seems impassable or the call unreachable, that our spirits once again our quieted by the realization of our useless strivings. In this stillness, the voice calls again from the darkness and echoes within our being, resonating with the vibrations of light within—deep crying out to deep. The undergrowth no longer seems insurmountable, not if Truth lies beyond its bounds. You plod onward, unhealed scars and unfulfilled dreams, towards the voice.
The call may be unreachable and well it should be. A call grasped may prove fragile to the touch of unskilled hands. The call simply may be to strive, to reach, to climb towards the unattainable and, in doing so, find that in some mysterious and unexplainable way that the call begins to emanate from within and the voice that once was so foreign now seems familiar. You have not attained, but are attuned, to the call.