Being True To Your Calling

I once thought that religion and spiritual formation were concerned with meditating until you had a Godly Spiritual experience.

And I did. And I did. I was in my 30s. Now what? That’s why I’m so concerned that we teach people after a conversion experience what comes next.

I’m reminded of a Zen master saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

I’m reminded of a Zen master saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

Paul was concerned with that very thing.

In his letter to the Ephesians after praying that his listeners be filled with God, he says, “I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”

We are all born with some gifts. They constitute a calling. Some are  called to preach because they can speak well. Some are called to teach because they understand the subject and can transfer that knowledge and enthusiasm to someone else. Some are called to one from among various types of service.

Bill Hybels and Steve Carter spoke this spring at Willow Creek about finding your gifts. Try one out, said Hybels. See how it fits. If it doesn’t seem right, then try out another one. You’ll find what you are made for.

The commentator in my Bible translation says of Ephesians 4:1, “Spiritual formation is largely dependent upon our capacity to live a called life. Calling presupposes a God who graciously speaks and a people who willingly listen. In Revelation, the letter sent to the Ephesians ends this way: ‘Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.’ Listening is a primary spiritual formation practice.”

And if your spiritual gift is leadership, then the most important of the practices you should be working on is listening.

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2 Responses to “Being True To Your Calling”

  1. Rebecca Geier Says:

    So well put – love the ending. Yes!

    • Gary Mintchell Says:

      Thanks for the thought, Rebecca. I missed Austin for the first time in 18 years this year. NI just isn’t the same. I’ll be down in October. Maybe we can catch up and I can get that article I owed you. It’s been a crazy year.

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