The liberating truth – many simultaneous callings

By Dave Henning / December 15, 2020

“The liberating truth, however, is that we do not have one great calling in life but instead are given many callings simultaneously.  Although these may seem small and insignificant, they have sacred worth, given to us by God’s own hand.  This truth . . . enables us to participate with joy in life’s many relationships, tasks, occupations, and responsibilities.  It is His will (or might we say wills) for us.”- Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leininger

As Rev. Leininger moves on in Chapter 1 of Callings for Life, he cautions against two negative results from seeking the one right thing:

  1. neglect – obsession with the pursuit of the illusory one great thing causes careless neglect of the many great things already present
  2. regret – convincing yourself that you’ve missed your one true calling, even though you fulfill the many vocations in which God’s place you with strength and grace

Above all, both results share an ultimate consequence: disruption of a relationship with God.  As a result, Rev. Leininger observes, people filled with neglect or regret ask questions such as:

  • Why doesn’t God reveal my life’s purpose to me?
  • Why didn’t God use me in more dramatic ways?

However, the author notes, Martin Luther redefined vocation.  Luther expanded the concept beyond the one great calling of church work.  Instead, Luther believed God’s Word brought spiritual significance to many earthly stations in which the faithful lived out their lives.

In addition, Luther reminds us that we’re already doing important things for God:

“How is it possible that you are not called?  You have always been in some state or station. . . .  Yea, if you had five heads and ten hands, even then you would be too weak for your task, so that you would never dare to think of making a pilgrimage or doing any kind of saintly work.”

Thus, Christ sees our daily activities as sacred and valuable.  Equal to any one single thing we feel God calling us to do.  No matter how dramatic or important that one thing feels to us.

Today’s question: How do you respond to the liberating truth of many callings?  Please share.

Coming Thursday: the Christmas Short Meditation – “Break forth, O beauteous morning light”

Tomorrow’s blog: Resume virtues vs. eulogy virtues”

About the author

Dave Henning

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