“Because of the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, God has placed us in multiple callings in this world and gifted us to be His instruments in multiple ways to a world in need. The myth of the one great thing . . . fools us into thinking that unless we find the singular purpose we are born for, our lives will be miserable, meandering, and meaningless.”- Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leininger
In Chapter 1 (“Callings”) of Callings for Life: God’s Plan, Your Purpose the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leininger dispels the Myth of the One Great Thing. First, though, Rev. Leininger observes that people believe four basic facts about this myth. That this one great thing, as the author describes, is:
- put there, if I can only discover it
- sent to me from God, if I can only discern it
- world-changing, if I can only accomplish it
- the one great thing in life I’m set to do; only by seeking after it will I find true fulfillment
Hence, we convinced ourselves that only one great calling in life exists. And the Almighty God created and preordained that I accomplish this spiritual, seismic, and otherworldly task. Certainly, God calls us through the Gospel. However, nowhere do the Scriptures reveal one great thing we’re called to do in this life.
Furthermore, Rev. Leininger notes, universities in the Protestant tradition baptize the quest for the one great thing with the use of the word vocation. Because the word vocation has a historical connection to the Reformation. Also, its broad application fits every college student.
As a result, we sense an urgency to discover and discern God’s singular calling. Therefore, we feel constantly harassed, afraid that missing out disintegrates our lives into a fog of confusion and total lack of purpose. The problem? — all too often we think in the singular rather than the plural. We think calling rather than callings.
Today’s question: Do you believe that you have multiple callings in this world? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Try Softer