Near the end of my freshman year at Taylor University, we had a chapel service commissioning all the students who were participating in ministries around the country and world for the summer. I was planning to go home to work for the break, so I was sitting in the audience as hundreds of students walked across the stage to be honored. I sat there feeling like my plans to find a summer job were definitely not God’s best for me, and I decided at that moment I would find a higher calling for the following summer.

Determined to do something big for God, I applied and was accepted to a summer ministry in Maine the following year. As I had my turn to walk across the stage during that year’s commissioning service, I thought I was finally doing what God wanted. Yet the summer didn’t go very well, and when I tried it again the following year, it was a miserable failure. My idea of what I was being called to seemed different than God’s.

Reminds me of the Wendell Berry novel Jayber Crow. When the title character was a young boy in a Christian orphanage, the group-think of the place made every young boy consider whether he was being called into ministry. Jayber hadn’t felt any particular call, but he wanted to so badly he thought he must surely have been called and missed it.

“Finally, I reasoned that in dealing with God you had better give Him the benefit of the doubt. I decided that I had better accept the call that had not come, just in case it had come and I had missed it. This was in the late summer before my final year at The Good Shepherd. I went to Brother Whitespade and told him I was pretty sure that I had received the call.”

Over and over again, I saw that those who made commitments and sacrifice for full-time ministry were given support and encouragement in their calling (as they certainly should), but those who were entering the more traditional workplace as teachers and mechanics and doctors and accountants were not. And these observations left me wondering if my life-long desire to be a writer should be set aside in order to pursue the higher calling of being a missionary or working in a church? I even made career decisions based on these questions.


Oh, how I wish I would have had a resource like thehighcalling.org earlier in life to help me sort out what it means to be called. And, oh, how thankful I am now to have access to all of the articles and blogs and Bible studies on the site as I continue to figure out what it means to incarnate my calling.

Articles like “Work’s a Gift and There’s a Giver” explore work as a gift, in whatever field we may find ourselves. “What I Do For a Living” talks about the difficulties one man faces as he tries to explain his work to others. I really related to this — both in my day job, and in my writing pursuits. And in “What Does God Want?”, the author wrestles with what it means to love others at work, in his work and through his work. I’ve been praying similar prayers for years now.

Here’s something else great about this website: I signed up as a member, so now I can mark these three articles as “Favorites” and read them again when I need a reminder of my calling. Also, I can search for other articles like them, by category, or I can search for other articles by the same authors. The website is really easy to use.

I hope you will take a minute to visit the website. I have no ulterior motive in sending you there except that I think you’ll love it. And I also hope that you will continue to consider what it means to live out your high calling today, as you do your work.

And don’t forget . . .

– if you’d like to become a member of thehighcalling.org, visit their membership page. (It’s free!)
– or, if you’d like to learn more about The High Calling Blog Tour, visit the other tour guides:

Gordon Atkinson
L. L. Barkat
Gina Conroy
Craver VII
CREEations
Milton Brasher-Cunningham
Mary DeMuth
Karl Edwards
Emdashery
Every Square Inch
Amy Goodyear
Marcus Goodyear
Al Hsu
Jennwith2ns
Chalres Foster Johnson
Mike McLoughlin
Eve Nielsen
Naked Pastor
Ramblin Dan
Stacy
Camy Tang

By the way, my post today on Barclay Press’s Daily Journal is about pursuing the resurrection life in our work. (After all this work, I need a nap!)