Don’t miss the call.


Callings.

I want to talk about them for a few minutes. We use this word a lot. When I first started going to church, that’s what everyone talked about. People spoke about callings like they were waiting on a legitimate phone call from God with specific instructions. As if God were going to mouth into the phone, “Go to the closet and pull out a black shirt. Put it on. Grab your bag. Go outside. Take the A bus to downtown and wait for me there.”

Do I think God is mysterious and weighty? Yes. Do I think there are some things we can’t know right now? Sure. But I don’t think God holds out on people. The God I know doesn’t dangle a “calling” in front of your face and taunt, just try to figure this one out! I can’t imagine a God who tells us to put our life on pause and just for the calling to show up.

The calling talk exhausted me. It made me feel like maybe I missed the phone call. Like this phantom “calling” everyone talked about was visiting everyone but me. 

And then I learned something pretty valuable. It maybe took me 5 years of working for myself to let it sink in but I think I am grasping it now. My calling isn’t some castle in the distance that, if I work hard enough and pray even harder, I will suddenly get to. My calling could very well be a castle but it’s not in the distance and it’s not just going to appear. I must build it. Brick my brick, I have to build the life I want. I can’t just expect it to arrive without the work.

Now some people are going to be real dumb and try to convince you that you need to walk cautiously in everything you do. They will try to fill you with this “don’t step on the crack or you’ll break your grandma’s back” kinds of fear and tell you that IF YOU MESS UP THEN YOUR CALLING ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN.

Pause the crazy.

Let’s talk about Jonah for two seconds. Jonah is that character in the bible we all know from that one time he got swallowed by a whale after trying to run from God. The moral of that story always was: listen to God, don’t make him angry, or else a massive Orca is going to come and eat you.

Admittedly, I never grasped a deeper meaning to that story until recently when I read it for the first time as an adult. I honestly didn’t even know it was a book in the bible. Jonah has his own book. I mean, the dude there has to be a story bigger here than “man meets whale” if he got his own book. 

What we never talk about in the story of Jonah is how he clearly messed up because he allowed fear to take over. Turns out, it was fear and a little bit of pride. God gave Jonah a clear mission and Jonah didn’t really want it to go that way. He had bigger plans. He had different plans. This is me often: God, I want it to look different. Yes, use me. But wait… I have clear guidelines. 

God does not need to subscribe to our guidelines.

God used Jonah anyway. Even though Jonah ran as far from this calling as possible, God picked up right where he left off and had Jonah do the exact thing he wanted him to do before the whale drama. God didn’t give up on Jonah. He allowed Jonah to be human and he still picked him for his team.

The story doesn’t end when Jonah the human messes up, misses the mark or gets spit up by a whale. This is a story about redemption and it’s also a reminder: keep your eyes on God above the calling. 

I don’t think we can treat this idea of “calling” as if it were the 4 pm train that only stands still for a minute before it roars off into the distance. Your calling isn’t something you step into once. Your calling is something you are constantly stepping into.

You are in the middle of your calling right now. If you are in a bad job, you are in the right place. If you are in the best season of your marriage, you are in the right place. If you are suffering and shaking, you are STILL in the right place. In the bad and the good, your GPS location is not an accident and every space will be a teacher if you allow it to be.

Some stretches of time in your life are going to feel more meaningful than others. Some will herald more celebration than others. The mistake gets made when we belittle our current location in the journey because we just want to be “there” now. I think “there” is really just “here” with more wrinkles in its face. I tell myself, stop waiting to arrive and just be here now. This day counts. This hour. All of it.

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19 thoughts on “Don’t miss the call.

  1. Reblogged this on De mi para ti and commented:
    To my friends that would like to read something in english, check this one out! I loved the message!

    A mis amigos que les gusta leer en ingles, aqui les dejo esta historia de una de mis bloggers favoritas. Me encanto el mensaje!

  2. Hi Hannah,

    How are you? I’m a parent of a student at Concordia High School in Austin, TX. Would you consider donating an autographed book for a silent auction at a gala 10/28/17 to support our scholarship program? We are a 501 (c)3 nonprofit. Thanks so much for considering helping our students! God bless you! Sincerely, Jennifer Jones, 512-809-1641

    >

  3. I’ve been reading your blog for so many years Hannah and I’ve always found that you say it right, you say it eloquently. really needed to read this today and your words could not have come at a better time! Thank you.

  4. Thank you Hannah, I really needed this today. ❤ Turning 50 this Sunday and have been doing a ton of reflecting about where I am, how I am using the gift God gave me of Storytelling and listening and connecting and serving others to see the beauty in who they are and what they offer. So much easier to do this for others than self. Big Hugs and onward. onward.

  5. Good Morning Beautiful Sister in Christ…. First giving honor to God.. You’re words are so inspiring and amazing…. Thank you for your post I really needed this today…. I will be looking forward to hearing from you in the future….

  6. Wow! This resonated with me so much. I feel like I’m always rushing towards something and not living in the moment, that last paragraph and those last two sentences really hit me: “The mistake gets made when we belittle our current location in the journey because we just want to be “there” now. I think “there” is really just “here” with more wrinkles in its face. I tell myself, stop waiting to arrive and just be here now. This day counts. This hour. All of it”

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I believe, such a calling goes beyond our understanding. It seems to me that people always try to read between lines when it comes to being in the right place and doing the right thing, but one thing is for sure; many people found their treasure when they stopped looking ahead and turned around to pay attention to what wasn’t worth listening before… probably that’s what some called enlightened calling.

  8. I have struggled with a call to ministry for years. It’s that feeling of restlessness, that no matter what you do, you still feel restless. Long story short, I took a job I thought would end the restlessness only to find it worse than I ever imagined. But, I can see what I’ve learned in this season and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I’m still trying to figure out what God is calling me to do–and yes, I feel as if I’ve missed the 4:00 train–and I’ve been waiting patiently for the next train. And in waiting–I know I’m ready.

    I appreciate your words.

  9. how do you balance honoring God in your work now, knowing it’s merely a stepping stone toward the more concrete plans that are in line with the gifts the Lord has given me? Am i just complaining about my current job or is it really time to move on?

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