Now that is a forbidden word in my household. The reason being, the last time I said ‘calling’, I was asking permission to leave family, the country I grew up in and asking out of the culture I was raised in, in pursuit of what the Lord was leading me to be. That was unprecedented in my family, unheard of – a young girl, with a promising career and life ahead, traditional family….saying she has a ‘calling’? What was that? Is she delusional? Who’s ‘calling’ her? And how dare she tell us something like that? Where did she get the courage to do that?
As not just eyebrows, but blood pressures also rose, and nostrils flared, I just stood my ground and asked the God who had called me to make the way. The rest of whatever happened is a story in itself. However thenceforth my siblings and I refer to it as the ‘C*******’ word. Evoking that word on a family holiday could cause a variety of emotions to well up, most of them the kind we wouldn’t want to be anywhere close to.
Jokes apart, how many of us have asked at least our own selves that? What am I called to do? What is the purpose of my existence? I’m pretty sure more than half of you reading this would have wondered about this at some point in your life.
I still do. Every single day. Still wonder if I’m on the’ right track’. Or whether there is a thing as one. Even many years after taking such a strong stand in the direction to what I believe God has been calling me to.
Why does it have to be so hard? My head voice was screaming the other day. I was exhausted, tired of being the junior most, the ‘underdog’, tired of people telling me to strive harder to complete my higher studies ( one of the downsides of the Indian medical education system- you somehow never finish studying), tired of standing back and watch people I thought were less deserving than me, get in so easily to what I had to sweat my blood out for; tired of waiting at crossroads, tired of being taken advantage of, tired of questions, tired……..
Why does it have to be so hard? Why the pain? Why endure such scorn? Why does all this call for so much enduring? Why should it feel like the pressure is weighing in on the soul?
I had followed the Voice, I had taken those steps in faith, I had obeyed… and yet it is hard. Very hard. There are delays, there are trials, diseases, rejection, pain and questions. That being said, there is also the peculiar joy of knowing that He’s got me and I wouldn’t trade that for anything else in the whole wide world.
That’s when the good Lord above reminded me of this poem, author anonymous, a famous preacher quoted once that left an impression on my soul:
“When God wants to drill a man, thrill a man and skill a man,
When God wants to mould a man to play the noblest part
When He yearns with all his heart to create so bold a man
That all the world might be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!”
Your calling is something God has put in your genes even before you were born. You were chosen. Oh yes, nobody said it was going to be easy. Nobody said you would know what it was right away.
“How He ruthlessly perfects, whom He royally elects;
How He hammers and hurts him, and with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay, that only God understands
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands.”
Every single day, the Lord has called us to do something special, that we would only know if we asked of Him- every single day.
“How He bends, But never breaks
When his good He undertakes,
How He uses whom He chooses
And which every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendour out,
God knows what He’s about.”
So friend, when you keep striving to do your best and somehow your best is not good enough to keep it all together, and you wonder like a friend of mine did ” Is there no space for human frailty here?”, remember there’s only one place to fight that battle- on your knees, in the presence of your Creator. And right there, just right there, you will find your calling. The purpose for your existence- not just for this season but for the next and the next and the one after that.
I’ll end with a quote by a man who lived and died doing what he was called to do till the very end.
“You will never lighten any load until you feel the pressure in your own soul. “( Ravi Zacharias)