The Calling

StorybookI started writing a fiction book. I can’t remember when I have been so excited about something or had so much fun. Even coming home from work exhausted, I could not wait to write. I felt like this was my calling, my destiny, and I wanted to step into that life more than anything else.

Then I noticed something I didn’t like. If I set aside time to write, and something or someone interrupted, I got frustrated. I felt that they were stealing my future.  I also noticed that instead of doing things around the house, I would write.   I told myself that a year from now I won’t remember that the toilet was fixed… but the book will still be around after I am dead; if God’s spirit is in the book, then it could touch lives for centuries.

Suddenly the book was making me frustrated and anxious instead of happy; everything seemed to be getting in its way. Even worse, I began to get stuck at parts, worried that what I was writing was good enough. I asked God why, what happened?

He said.

We should do what we are called to do because we are called to do it, not because it gives us purpose and fulfillment. It can give us purpose, but if it becomes what we look to for purpose, then we end up replacing God with it.  The task in and of itself is as empty and fruitless as any other task. It is God who gives us fulfillment as we are obedient in doing the task.

“Pray for me that I not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus even under the guise of ministering to the poor.
― Mother Teresa of Calcutta

It’s easy to let the work take the focus off of God, especially if it’s his work or good work.

The person who does not seek the kingdom first, does not see it at all. Worthy as all other concerns may be, the moment they become the focus of our efforts, they become idolatry.
― Richard J. Foster