Each season of our life is made up of a unique blend of commitments and calling.
Commitments are the non-negotiable obligations in our life. Some bring great joy, like caring for a long awaited newborn. Some are expected: putting bread on the table, gas in the car and a roof over head. Some are hard: paying off debt incurred by a reckless ex-spouse, providing life-time care for a special-needs child, attending to the 24/7 care of a dying loved one.
These commitments fuel our transformation. God wastes nothing. Some of his best work happens in the hottest fires. Three things to keep in mind.
- Soften your heart to the work transformation, even if you go into it kicking and screaming.
- Trust God.
- Tell of His Goodness. Be ready (most days) to give an account of your hope. It can be awfully hard on the days when the trio rugged, brutal & grueling are pulling you under.
Last year, on day 6 of what turned into a 19 day hospital stay with my 15 year-old son, Joe, I began to question God. “Do you know all the ministry opportunities I’m missing at home?” (My husband and I run a summer children’s camp and I was missing the beginning of camp.)
“Do you know how many you’re missing here?”
I wasn’t fully convinced. Being 3 hours from home, my heart was breaking for all my kids.
“Joe can’t take the pain. I can’t take watching him in pain. My crew at home is on their last leg”
“I’m working on them, too. They’re learning how to trust. They’ll have something to tell. Trust and Tell. Give it a try.”
God was right. The harder the trust factor, the greater the story. God lands on center stage. He promises stories for us to share of his presence and provision. Our commitment to our commitments will bring God glory.
Our calling (which can change from season to season) makes use of our negotiable “free” time. It may be what we get paid to do. It may be what we “do” on a volunteer basis. It may be a dream in the making. It’s where our gifts, energy and passion collides with a need. Teaching ESL. Coaching. Playing drums. Sending notes. Making things work.
What energizes you?
Kayaking? Reading? Carpentry? Knitting? Travel? Organizing? Cars?
The world tells us to “go for it” with gusto, but the ensuing pursuit is sometimes self-centered. In the end, my passion consumes hours, but it’s all about me, myself, and I.
How can the “thing” that energizes me build bridges to new friends? Meet a need? Cast a vision? Serve those who are marginalized, neglected, forgotten?
God is ready to tell us.
But we need to ask. Pay attention. Listen well. This is where rest comes in. Quiet places attune our hearts to whispers and marching orders.
- Our calling uses our gifts, spotlights our priorities and provides an avenue to steward our time well. There are seasons of life where there may be little time to pursue our calling. Wait is one of the hardest, holiest words there is.
- I have a dear friend who seas her calling as being a PWT – “person with time”. She’s available – to watch the children of a mom overcome with stomach flu. She bakes Christmas cookies with middle schoolers. She drives older adults to doctor appointments. Chaperones field trips. Finds a low-cost plumber for a family in need. The list goes on. No week is the same and no one she serves is either. Are you a PWT? Do you see it as a calling? I hope you do!
- When embracing our calling (paid, volunteer, or on-call), burn-out will nip at our heels. Satan cheers when we forfeit the race. Sustainability matters. Rest is the key. Rhythm provides routine oasis along the way.
Have you tuned into your callings and commitments? Tell us about it here in the comments or on Facebook.
Is This Your First Time Here?
Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”
- It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
- It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
- It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.
14 thoughts on “On Callings & Commitments”
LOL! I went to the doctor the other day. As you well know there was a wait. There were. Lot of chairs that were empty. As I walked in, I saw a lady sitting in a chair up front where I would not be comfortable to sit. I am NOT an outgoing type of person. I will say “Hi!” in a elevator or will smile and acknowledge people, but I don’t strike up conversations. Yet, I did. I sat where I was not comfortable, near a lady I didn’t know, and talked with her about Jesus. I never even got her name, but I’m praying. And this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. I can assure you, this is God. It surely isn’t me. Sometimes the calling it simply to obey.
So I don’t have to feel guilty about having a passion about fun activities? I tend to hold back on what might be fun and funfilling because of all the ones who are barely hanging onto life or making ends meet. It seems I should help meet those needs first. But what if I was able to serve in God’s kingdom through some of the things I enjoy? Something to think about.
Yes — something to think about!
God chose in all His wisdom to make us incredibly finite. We MUST be recharged, refueled, refilled. We were meant for Garden living. God refuels us in many ways, but there is no doubt that love, laugher and delight top His life. Engage–guilt-free! When we do, we have more creative energy to meet the needs of the world around us. No doubt about it.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Proverbs 25:11
So here right now Brenda! Thanks foams sharing and following His lead.
Hello! How are you? God is so remarkably and unmistakably faithful — but it doesn’t mean it’s easy, does it?
Some days I’m holding on for dear life.
Other days, I can’t keep from singing out loud.
Let’s catch up. I’d love to hear about where you’re at and what He’s doing. Brenda@runhardrestwell.org
Eyes on Him!
My calling (my hospital job) has been causing burn out for me for several years now, but God has blessed me recently with a week off this past January so I could rest, relax and be renewed in my mind, body and spirit for this new season He has me in for Kingdom and personal work.
Gwendolyn, I am so delighted you’ve had the gift of TIME to pause, rest, and be refreshed.
I pray the blessings carry you into the rest of the year and that there will be more pit stops along the way!
Good Morning Brenda and thank you your “refreshing” page of inspiration and encouragement.
Blessings to you as well and I pray that one one day I willbe able to attend one of your retreats.
Gwendolyn, It will be a joy to meet you some day!
If you live near Ft. Wayne, Indiana … our next retreats are May 5 and May 9.
Visit https://runhardrestwell.org/retreat/ for more info.
The event includes the retreat and the book.
Scholarships are available!
Good Morning Brenda, I pray that you and your family are doing very well.
I am intetested in learning more about your scholarships.
Please send me more info.