In honour of Vocation Sunday tomorrow here's an excellent post from DVO app.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace... 2 Tim 1:9 (NIV)
Vocation - Part 1
What's your calling?
Growing up in church this question was bandied about almost as much as "how are you today?" The urgency of the way in which it was always asked made me nervous.
What IS my calling? Am I called? Am I one of the few chosen? Are we all chosen? What if I'm not chosen? What if I'm just normal? I want to change the world? How will I do it? What will I do? Will I succeed? Will I fail? Am I the ONE?
These are the questions/thoughts/fears that would flood my mind and heart at the very mention of 'calling.' The pressure was paralysing and I made many of my choices more in accordance with what the perceived outcome of my life should be rather than what I felt in my bones. There was a sense of sacrifice attached to the feeling of what my calling would be. Not the normal, good kind of sacrifice when you think of things like exercise, practice, devotion, study etc... but a kind of 'self minimising sacrifice' that stemmed from things like my misunderstanding of Johns quote "more of Him, less of me" (that devotion will be coming in a day or two).
We've overdone, over-spiritualized and overcomplicated "calling" for a long time.
So for the purposes of this series, we are going to redefine calling - and to start off we're going to talk about it in terms of "vocation."
Vocation: "A particular occupation or profession; calling. A strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career. A divine call to God's service or to the Christian life. A function or station in life to which one is called by God."
It's the essence of our existence - what am I here FOR? What will I leave behind, and how will my days impact the world? It is the divine woven into our function. You, my friend, are here on purpose. You are not random, you are not an anomaly or a mistake... You ARE deliberate.
Your vocation shouldn't fill you with dread. It is yours. What you do with your life is up to YOU. From the outset of this little discussion, know that when it comes to your purpose, you need to OWN it. And to own it, you need to find it.
And it's not as hidden away as you might think... It's in your bones, in your blood, in your heart.
Have a look inside. What makes you tick? What makes your body feel fluid? What makes your heart leap out of your chest? What makes you angry, what gives you hope, what captures your attention? These are all clues to help you discover the "why" to your life.
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman.
I've often wondered how it must feel to be a successful Christian recording and touring artist whilst having to deal with the worldly aspects of that life such as marketing, profit margins, contracts, image, media communications, etc... It must be a really delicate balancing act to not let success go to your head when it comes, to keep the focus on the Lord and yet do your best to get your material out there because you believe that God wants you to touch people's hearts and souls through your songs and performances/recordings.
I know that one of my all-time favourite bands, Switchfoot, constantly struggle with this tension. Just listen to their last 3 or 4 albums for numerous examples. Jon Foreman's - and the other band members' - lyrics seem to be a way of working through for themselves the tensions inherent in their career/ministry, calling on themselves to keep the focus on what is right and true, above all on love... love of God, love of their fellow human beings.…
Just finished my annual retreat, this year with 25 other De La Mennais Brothers at the Benedictine monastery of Landévennec in Finistère, Brittany. A time to recharge the batteries, to read, to pray, to reflect, to write, to enjoy the beautiful coastal countryside... to take stock of the past year and to look forward to the future with hope. Today and tomorrow I've 2 days of meetings with our Provincial Council, after which it's back to Liverpool just in time to get ready for Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Here's a Facebook message from the people at "40 acts" to help us live this Lent in a way that takes the focus away from what we can do for ourselves and towards responding better to the needs of others. "Lent starts this Wednesday! How are you doing it?
We're giving up giving up and giving generously instead. Like & Share if you're joining us and tag in some friends to join the #40acts generosity movement.(Sign up at www.40acts.org.uk to …
The article linked at the bottom of this post was written by the bass player of Switchfoot, Tim Foreman (The band are favourites of mine and there was a Switchfoot song on our Indonesia/Japan tour playlist, "Love Alone Is Worth the Fight”). The band are all mad keen surfers. The article recounts a dramatic experience that Tim had while surfing somewhere that Team Win! now know: Bali, Indonesia! The end of the article is as follows:"... life is meant to be lived. And that means taking risks. We come alive when we step beyond the comforts of what we know. And it’s all too easy to just say “no” to the things that scare us. But who knows what’s waiting for you, beyond the safety of your apartment or your mobile device. Like fire in your veins: rebellion, adventure, the unknown."Congrats to Andy (Rolo), James + Harry for being willing to take a giant step outside of their comfort zones and embrace our Far Eastern adventure with all the encounters and experiences that made i…