We’re in a series at my (awesome) church right now called “The Big Picture,” and we’re exploring the idea of God’s will for our lives. We’ve been saying how so often we act like God’s will is something far out there for us to search for…unearth…discover, but the reality is that God – who WANTS to be discovered – has made His will within reach as well.
Honestly, in our worship design meetings, as we discussed the direction for the series, I never really thought that it would be a particularly resonating series for me. I feel like I know what God wants from me. I know generally what direction He wants me to go, and I didn’t think there was much else God could tell me besides what I already know. (Prideful, much?)
I am a writer, and I am a speaker. I have both a blog and a desire to be published. I want a larger platform – a larger sphere of influence within which to share the message of God’s love for His people. That is who I am and what I want, and I think it’s generally in line with what God has for me.
That being said, though, I have been doing a lot of searching lately. As I’ve already shared, I feel like my past methods of writing and publishing and platform-building have not yielded the results I long for. Something new needs to happen, though I’m not sure what. God’s will for my career (if that is what this is or is to be) is something of a mystery.
And so I’ve been searching. Seeking. Exploring. I’ve been reading a lot of other blogs and thinking a lot about what I want mine to be. I’ve been tweaking my writing style and contemplating changes to my blog format. I’ve read – with the greenish eyes of envy – the blogs and books of much more prolific writers, and have developed some ideas in my mind about how I, too, might get to that level. I’ve been pursuing this calling with all I’ve got.
Because of that, I’ve let the calling shape me. As I wrote last week, I’m pretty quick to jump on a bandwagon if someone says it might be a good idea, and while there is certainly a time and a place for seeking and following wisdom, this is not it. The pursuit of God’s will for my life is not the arena in which I should look all around me. I should only be looking up, because any other way is simply conforming to the world’s will for me.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
Sitting there in the semi-dark in the front row of worship yesterday, I remembered that something will shape me. Something is always at work influencing and changing me. That is unavoidable. I’m not powerless in the process, though. I can choose what will influence me – what will shape me – by holding on to the thing I want to be like.
The thought had never occurred to me, but then as I sat listening to the message the words from a recent blog comment came rushing back to me: Seek the Caller, not the calling.
What I have not done, though, is seek the Caller. In my efforts to focus in on this calling, I have in many ways lost focus on the One who has called me in the first place.
And again, something will shape me. Something will change me. If I want to be shaped by my calling, I can continue on in the way I have been…trying to figure this out, come up with a plan, and pursue a checklist.
Or I can let go of that. I can let go of the mindset that there is a right way or a wrong way to do this. I can choose instead to keep my eyes and my heart and my mind fixed on the One who designed me for this calling.
Those are the thoughts resonating in my head as I left worship yesterday and as I went through my afternoon and as I tried to draft this post last night. And then I got up this morning to finish writing, and this was the verse of the day from my Bible app:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:30 NIV)
And this morning I’ve changed my thinking a little. Yes, there is a right way to do this, and it has nothing to do with which link-ups I choose or which comment platform I use or whether or not I use every form of social media to broadcast my message. All I have to do is remain focused on the One who asked me to do this in the first place.