Called to do? Or called to be?

John and I have spent many years helping people discover their calling– the unique way God has designed them and the unique works he has called them to do. (In fact, John has launched a nonprofit ministry just for this purpose.)

It’s usually about this time of year that we sit down and preach the message to ourselves. We remind ourselves of our personal calling statements that we have lived out the hard way, massaged and tweaked over time. And then we ask ourselves, which sections of our lives sync with our calling? Which sections need to be changed, improved, or even overhauled?

John led me through this process a couple of weeks ago (he’s really good by the way) and I realized something significant: I have allowed my emphasis on calling to focus on the “doing.” What is God calling me to do? (And believe me, I’ve been doing the doing.) Sadly, I have been doing so much doing, I have almost completely forgotten about being.

When I wrote about calling awhile back, I separated the call God has placed on our lives into a primary and secondary calling. The primary is about being and the secondary is about doing. Somehow along the way I’ve neglected the primary for the secondary. (Not surprising for an American do-er.)

Our primary calling is concerned with our identity. Who are we called to be? Before we even get out of bed in the morning to do anything, we are called to be. Be loved. Be known. Be accepted. Be a child. Rest in what has already been done.

This being is a gift that God gives all his kids. Don’t forget to enjoy it. In fact, I would say, don’t attempt the “doing” until you have enjoyed the “being.” If we believe the gospel, our “doing” must flow out of our “being.” If we attempt to do before we rest and enjoy being a child of God, then we will end up like I was a couple of weeks ago: ti-red and ready to q-u-i-t. Everything.

So how do we go about being? For me, being means preaching the gospel to myself every day. Reminding myself of who I am: a dearly loved child. Not because of what I do, but because of what Jesus has already done. Resting. Taking the time to journal, exercise, dance, talk with God, listen to music, color, read, or write. Those all have to do with being for me.

So, called to do or called to be? Yes. Both. But in 2019 I plan to realign focus on my primary calling of being. I’d love to hear how you live out your primary calling. What do you do to rest and remind yourself of who you are?

One comment

  1. Love hearing your thoughts again through your writing, friend! Aren’t we blessed with a Father that is so gentle with us? Praying that He delights your soul with His gentle reminders of who you are in Him.

    Happy New Year to the family!

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