One of the most critical variables in your life is what you do with what you are given―good or bad.
There is more than one way to find your life calling, and we will talk about two more techniques here. How you handle the talents you are given and the trials you encounter will go a long way toward helping you find meaning and purpose in your life.
Apply Your Talents to a Greater Cause
My early forties presented exciting opportunities for me to find new areas of calling, and this became a wonderful period in my life.
For my fortieth birthday, I wanted to do something meaningful, so I signed up for the Lifework Leadership program, which is “committed to transforming leaders by clarifying their calling, challenging their minds, and engaging their hearts for service.”
This became the best birthday present I ever got.
One of the speakers that year was Os Guinness, who wrote The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life. All of the quotes in this blog series are his, and this concept of calling has stuck with me to this day.
And the Lifework Leadership educational experience helped me see how the talents we have been given can play a role in realizing our calling.
“Calling is the key to tracing the story line of our lives and unriddling the meaning of our existence in a chaotic world.” (Os Guinness)
But a more miraculous demonstration of calling was still yet to come …
The next year, I was looking for a community service project for my church group. In a meeting at a local ministry named Frontline Outreach, a friend at the organization challenged me with this incredible statement: “We need your help to bring hundreds of people together for a Christmas event with dinner, entertainment, and toys for the kids.”
“And we need a famous speaker, such as Julius Irving (aka “Dr. J”) to be there.”
Leaving that meeting, I soon forgot that outlandish challenge. It was impossible to pull off what had been described in the short amount of time left until the holidays.
The next afternoon, I was sitting on an airplane in New York’s La Guardia airport waiting to return home to Orlando after a short business trip.
One last passenger stepped on board and sat in the seat next to me―Julius Irving!
A few weeks later, we held “Community Christmas at Frontline Outreach.” Over 600 guests, 200 volunteers, 7 churches, and Dr. J came together for an incredible, God-inspired event. Annually, Community Christmas continues to this day.
#3 – Find your calling by applying your talents to a greater cause.
See the Blessings in Trials
A decade later, times had changed, and in my early fifties, seemingly everything went wrong.
[Note: These trials are discussed in the book STEPS: A Daily Journey to a Better Life.]
This became the toughest period of my life. Paradoxically, it also led to my most important growth.
“Calling is not only a matter of being and doing what we are but also of becoming what we are not yet but are called by God to be.” (Os Guinness)
Apparently, I was meant to go through these tough times to find new areas of calling, and some of my most valuable spiritual lessons came during this period. Those trials let directly to two important areas of ministry for me: recovery and the book STEPS.
#4 – Find your calling by seeing the blessings in trials.
Learning from trials is not easy, but God often does his best work during our toughest times. If we maintain our faith and trust God for the outcome, it will help us get through those hard times.
We can not only survive, but find new areas of calling as well.
Question: What trials have you been through, and what did you learn from them?
Action: List some of the talents you have been given. Then, brainstorm ways in which you could use those gifts to achieve something worthwhile you feel called to do.
Note: Read the first two articles of this series on calling in the STEPS Journey Blog.