I’m 34 and I’m already thinking about the end of my days.
I’m thinking about how I want to spend the next 40 or 50 years. I want them to count. So I need to make some decisions.
A few months ago Colette and I were having a conversation about my time. I was feeling overwhelmed, burdened, almost drowning. The previous year had been full of work and ministry and family and I was feeling worn out, thin, and anxious. I was not full of joy or peace.
Colette offered advice, which slammed me right between the eyes, then hung in the air even though it was full of weight and mass. It deserved its own ZIP code and a star named after it. She said, “There’s a difference between being called and being capable.”
I’ve been meditating on this ever since, and it has changed the way I think about my time. Yes, there’s a difference between being called and being capable. I feel capable of a lot of things, feel I could do a good job with a lot of things, would like to do a lot of things. But that doesn’t mean I’m called to them. I don’t have to jump at every opportunity.
If I’m doing something, it means I’m not doing something else, and that something else might be part of my calling. And I might be standing in the way of someone else fulfilling theirs. I recently turned down a leadership position in a ministry I deeply care about. I could do a good job, and it’s a very worthy cause, but I don’t feel called to it. So I said no.
A man of God has got to discover what He’s called to do, and protect it jealously, because no one else will. The same goes for the valiant woman of God. As we develop in the LORD, we’ll resonate the aroma of Christ and reflect the light of Christ, and we’ll be invited to take part in more things. This feels good, but the wise person knows when to say yes and when to say no.
Here’s what I know I’m called to do and protect jealously:
1. Build an enjoyable relationship with God
2. Love my family with all I’ve got
3. Work hard in my job
4. Write to inspire people
5. Strengthen the practice of prayer
I will still say yes to opportunities that fall beyond. Sometimes a need arises. Sometimes compassion or justice compel. Sometimes God comes knocking. But they’ll be occasional. Instead, what will be constant is the jealous pursuit of calling.
We only have but days.