I would bet that most people remember the Lord of the Rings movies. In one of the beginning scenes where Gandalf sends Frodo on a quest, Frodo screams “I’m going on an adventure!”, and then starts running through a meadow, hair blowing in the wind, map in hand, out to destroy a ring.
I’m also willing to bet that a lot of people wished that they knew how to figure out what they are supposed to do with their lives that simply, with a tall wizard or a big booming voice sending them off with a clear task . To know completely and fully that what they are doing is what God wants them to do. But unfortunately, life isn’t usually that simple. We have to ask God ‘What am I supposed to do with my life?’ or “Where am I supposed to go?” without a clear response.
This concept of God using our choices sends people off into different directions. Some people find a couple things that they think they like and specialize in it and wait to be called use their talents. Others, like me, try to do a variety of things and give as much stuff a chance to see if God nudges them towards any of them. Finally, there are those few who know who they are and have a good sense of where they are going, those who most people want to be like.
But no matter who we are, we all still have probably doubted ourselves in one form or another and called out “What is God’s calling on my life?”. But have you thought about what the word ‘calling’ means? What comes to mind is probably something along the lines of a career you are supposed to be in, some sort of ministry you’re going to be doing, or a problem in the world that you are going to work on solving. That’s fine, but what happens when someone getws laid off, a ministry runs dry or a couple plans to change the world never come to fruition. Where is our real calling? Do we start over and look for a new ‘calling’, or keep pursuing the original. How do any of us really know what God is calling us to do? (Like those “In Soviet Russia… jokes”) What if we don’t find our calling, our calling finds us. What if we can’t find our calling because we are looking for the wrong thing?
A while back, I met a man from Ontario on an airplane, a bit disorganized and trying to start his life over in Alberta. I apparently looked like his brother that had died in January and he opened up to me almost instantly. He was a great guy. He told me about his life, from high school mistakes to his university degree in psychology to the unfortunate lack of jobs in that field. He eventually re-evaluated where he was headed and ultimately he ended up packing his life into a couple duffel bags and got on a plane from Ontario to Alberta. He was a really great guy who got handed a couple bad experiences. Could this be God’s way of calling him to pursue a different career? To move to a different place? To meet different people? Maybe, maybe not, who’s to say?
We can be called by God in many ways. It might not always be fun, it won’t always be clear, it won’t be easy at times, it might send your life into chaos, but then again, God’s plan sometimes looks like chaos.
It is in these moments when we trust. Because the God of chaos is also the God of intent. So whatever path of life you may find yourself in, may you know and experience the leading of the one who makes our paths straight, and live our lives seeking after Him.