Updated: Dec 20, 2021
By Andrena Sawyer
I grew up believing a lie.
As a Christian, much of what I accept as truth is based on faith--belief that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, and that my experiences are a small part of a story that is unfolding to His glory. That's not the lie. I wholeheartedly believe that to be truth, and I am convinced that all of creation corroborates that truth.
The lie I grew up believing is that the climax of my existence would be a big reveal of my divine purpose in life. You see, like many others, I thought I had one calling in life. Perhaps that calling would be evident in a career choice: doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur, social worker, teacher, etc. Perhaps the calling would be evident in a major life decision- serving in the ministry versus working in the corporate sector. Perhaps it meant walking away from all that is secular to pursue life as a missionary in a remote part of a developing country. Regardless of how the decision was made, I believed it always led to a singular big declaration and resulting confirmation that I have lived my life to the fullest. I no longer accept that as truth.
These days, I spend a lot of time actively looking for God at work, because I believe that He is always proactive and never reactive. This gives me great peace because if, as His creation, our lives are to mirror His, then we should also always be at work. We are never short on opportunities to answer the call to assist the widows, support the homeless, stand up for justice and to preach Christ crucified and resurrected. THAT is the call! It is an ongoing response to reflect what we accept as truth.
With that in mind, my goal in life is no longer to work my way into a spectacular and unique opportunity because it is my calling, but to recognize that "the call" is an ongoing response that leads to collective experiences. It transcends unique opportunities, talents, major decisions and "AHA" moments.
The result of renouncing the ideology that I was created for one spectacular and unique thing is freedom--freedom from the pressure of missing that calling, or not living up to some grand expectation. In place of that anxiety is a new-found hope and assurance that each day God's mercy is new, and because of that I get to live out the ultimate calling to reflect Him well.
"He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. Jesus Christ's life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God's. But what seemed failure from man's standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God's, because God's purpose is never man's purpose."
"The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is implicit." (Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest.")
Andrena is Founder of MCWEN, and the president of P.E.R.K. Consulting. She is also the author of several books including The Misadventures of a New Entrepreneur, and The Long Way Home. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @ Andrena_Sawyer.