I'm often baffled when a committed follower of Christ asks, "What's your calling?"
To me, the answer is a no-brainer. The "call" of every Christian is the same: to commit ourselves to follow Jesus and be conformed to his image. In other words, the calling on our lives is to press our noses so close into the shoulders blades of Jesus that he's the only one we see and follow.
The real question isn't "What's your calling?" but "How are you specifically fulfilling that calling?" And that's a question many of us are being forced to revisit.
Why? We're living in the midst of a technological revolution that's turning our world upside down. The ways we learn, communicate, and shop are shifting in mind-bending ways. Many of our nation's jobs are disappearing. Some of us hear of friends and loved ones who have been laid off and quietly wonder when our pink slips will arrive. This forces us to revisit the question of how we live out our calling as Christ-followers.
I believe that now more than ever we need to expand our understanding of what Christ has called us to. Let me give you a practical example. I have a lovely Christian friend who, when the topic of calling pops up, answers confidently, "My calling is to teach kindergartners and show them the love of Christ." And I love that! I adore watching the way she talks about her kids, the way she celebrates their progress, the moments she shares funny stories from the classroom.
But I also wonder, What if cutbacks begin affecting her classroom? Her job? What if she's laid off?"
Is the fulfillment of her calling found in a job title or something more?
I believe the way she fulfills the calling on her life can't be limited by whatever fits on a business card. My friend is called to teach—and that gift can be used in countless different ways each and every day both inside and outside the classroom.
In my own life, I can say that I fulfill my calling as a non-fiction, Christian writer. But that title sounds so narrow. If I recognize myself as a communicator—then whether I'm writing a book or an email or a blog post, I'm fulfilling my calling. Whenever I send a tweet or a text, I'm fulfilling my calling. Whenever I'm talking with friends or a small group or a large audience, I'm fulfilling my calling.
This raises questions: How are you fulfilling your calling? And is the way you've been thinking about your calling too small?
Margaret Feinberg (www.margaretfeinberg.com) is a communicator, and a regular contributor to Gifted for Leadership, whose latest book, Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God, released Christmas Day 2012. Follow her on Twitter or Pinterest @mafeinberg, or become a Fan on Facebook.