Sitting in the solitude of my room, my Bible open on my lap, I looked into the wall as if seeing into a distant future. I sensed the longing within my heart to hear His voice, and yet my thoughts struggled to settle on the holy words open before me. Ever so often, it feels as if I’ve missed it, but then again I’m so sure I heard His voice. I did hear Him speak to me. He told me what to do.
Our interpretation of our calling in life can often revolve around a clearly laid out task. We are often so focussed and single-minded on our “calling” that we fail to hear the faint voices on the side, calling for aid as well.
About two years ago, I clearly felt God nudging me into a certain direction of ministry. My heart began to ache for young people, just like me. I sensed God instilling within me a passion for purity like never before. Then, before I knew it, the passion turned into a force, stronger than I could imagine, driving me to set the world on fire. My feet wanted to run with the message of celibacy. Walking became too slow.
My newly instilled flame lightened up everywhere I went, and everything else began to fade. My job, my family time, my social life and even my fellowship with God; it all seemed to fade away to a lower rank of importance.
Warning signals glared at me. Sirens beeped at the back of my ears.
These I noticed during some of my last outreach projects at work. Having chosen to quit work to answer my calling was exciting, but not in the least bit easy, to say the least. I couldn’t wait to start working on the ministry my heart so desired, but I had to wait a few months to tie up the loose ends before leaving my office.
A particular weekend comes to my mind. Two of our American volunteers was soon to head back to the states and wanted to visit the one orphanage centre one last time. There was no other available driver except me, and I actually gladly excepted as I had become closely befriended with the two girls and wouldn’t mind a weekend away with them.
But it was an entire weekend. Weekends were the only free time I had to do ministry work.
I found myself in a tremendous struggle. I couldn’t focus on cooking a proper meal for the kids, I had no desire to show off my artwork with them. I wanted to be alone, making plans, strategise. But here I was, in the middle of the bush, in the heart of African tradition where cooking was done on gas, there was no running water and I waited for a shower until I got home. And yet, the children were content with our mushy-cooked pasta.
Later that evening, I ran to God in prayer. Why, I asked. Why is it so hard? I was carrying out God’s will in entering a new ministry, but here He places me in a completely different situation and environment. And the toughest realisation was knowing that He still expected me to be a blessing here, to labour faithfully for Him here with fervent zeal, and the same burning passion I have for my calling.
Waking up the next morning, there was a new approach to my circumstances. I was sad that I no longer had an entire weekend to leave a legacy at the orphanage, but I still had a couple of hours before we left back home. And these I used with great vigour.
I was enveloped with smiling kids, children singing with voices that painted the skies, and arms wrapped around me for lasting and memorable pictures that now hang in the picture portraits in my room for everyone to see.
One thing I know. My calling on life hasn’t changed, and neither did I misinterpret God’s voice. But in the midst of it all, God used the above mentioned situation, and many others, to teach me that my entire life is the calling. God’s purpose for our lives doesn’t revolve around one or two events or tasks that we are required to perform at some point in our lives.
When we are in a position to carry out the very will of God for our destiny or whether we find ourselves on vacation or in a remote orphanage on the African plains, are we able to fully live out God’s blessing? Wherever we are, Jesus should be our inspiration, whether we cook, eat, sleep, work or breathe.
Can we be a blessing, even in the hard times, in the places where we least want to be? Can we impact lives and leave a legacy, even then?
Can we answer God’s life calling?