Dixie Darr

On Call

In Finding Your Calling, spirituality on June 27, 2017 at 5:14 am









You might think that by age 69, I would have either discovered my mission in life or given up searching. Nope, I’m still trying to figure it out. Over the years, I’ve read dozens of books on the subject and even took an online course that promised results.
I may have gotten better results from that tee-shirt that says, “That’s what I do. I read and I know things.”
An old friend from high school once asked me if I wished I had studied something instead of sociology in college. “Not instead of,” I replied. “In addition to. I want to know everything.”
She turned to her husband and raised an eyebrow saying, “See? That’s why we’re friends.”
I identify with another popular meme, too: “A day without reading is . . . just kidding. I have no idea.”
Last week I reread for the Nth time, How to Find Your Mission In Life by Richard N. Bolles. He outlines three steps to finding your calling.
1. love God
2. choose good
3. develop your talent
I don’t talk much about God because that seems pretty private to me. I will say that I don’t believe God is some old white guy with a long beard sitting on a cloud somewhere. In fact, the God I believe in isn’t separate from us earthly creatures at all.
Bolles, who was an Episcopal minister, points out that if you believe you have a mission, a calling, a vocation, there must be somebody doing the calling. Makes sense.
The second step is that with every small choice we make each day, we choose the option that brings “more gratitude, kindness, forgiveness, honesty, and love into the world.” I admit that when I read this, I think, “You must have me confused with someone else.” I’m more a screaming obscenities at people who annoy me kind of person. Maybe I can work on that.
We tend to think of our mission as one big answer that comes to us on a highway billboard like in L.A. Story or in the booming voice of James Earl Jones or even on a tee shirt. Bolles suggests instead that it’s a series of small steps we take each day to bring more good into the world.
The final step is simply to develop whatever talent God gave us. As my pastor, Brad Laurvick said, “who you are is God’s greatest gift to you.” Ultimately, it’s also our greatest gift to the world.
We cannot retire from this and go sit on a beach or play Bingo to while away our days. As Richard Bach said, “Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”


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