When theologians consider the way God gets hold of one’s attention, woos them, and brings them into the Kingdom of God by giving them to Jesus, they use the term “call.” It is an effective call, because it brings about the result for which a call is intended. But there is another kind of calling. That has to do with purpose in life.
What was I made for? My name is written in the book of life, and it was there before the foundation of the world. So must my history have been. So must my purpose have been, and I’ve been on a journey of discovery all along, trying to put my hands on that for which I was laid hold of by God. It’s a calling, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I’ve been responding to God, but I haven’t always had the sense of what I was supposed to be doing. I may have thought I did, but no. Actually, I’ve been slowly, progressively understanding my calling. I’ve been letting go of one preoccupation, one distraction after another, and some of those have been very strong desires. Not desires in the sense of passionate addictions, sin, but desires that I thought would serve God and make me happy. I think for decades I have resembled Peter who raced ahead of everyone to announce that it was good, on the mount of transfiguration, that he was there, because he and the other two disciples could build tabernacles and then everyone could hang out in holy ecstasy. God would have none of that. He said, “This is my son. Listen to Him.” The problem with racing ahead of God is that you end up standing off somewhere by yourself realizing that your great plan is unraveling and Jesus isn’t in it. After many such episodes I have accepted that there are certain things in life that God has not called me too. He hasn’t given them to me, but He has given me others.
Jean-Louse Chrétien said that we know a call in our response. That is, we are responding to it before really comprehending it as a call. This is what draws us to another person, a staggering sunset, the expanse of the ocean reaching out to a distant horizon, or a fragile baby. Increasingly I know the call of God on my life by my responses to it. It is that which gives peace and a sense of wholeness. It is that which flows. It is that which comes with an assurance that it is “right.”
Increasingly, I understand that I am called to write. So, I will. I will write a blog. I write books. Now I will write a blog. I cannot tell you exactly what will be in it, but I know who will be in it. I will. Right now I am in it.