With little choice on our part

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By Dave Henning / December 31, 2020

“The reality is, most of our daily interactions . . . have been brought into our lives with little choice on our part.  Each of these can be regarded as callings, people for whom Christ died whose lives have been woven into ours.  It is precisely because most of the relationships we have are not of our own choosing that they are given divine significance.”- Rev. Jeffrey Leininger

In Chapter 5 (“God-Given”), the final chapter of Callings for Life, Rev. Jeffrey Leininger stresses that it’s better to understand our callings in life as God-given.  Rather than as self-chosen.   Because the farther along in life you get, the author observes, the more those choices produce anxiety.  And, Rev. Leininger wryly notes, those choices line up at your door, constantly knocking as if you owe them money.  Also, sometimes we find ourselves totally caught up in our calling of choice.  Consequently, we miss the callings God places right in front of us.

However, in reality we don’t choose for ourselves most of the callings we have in life.  Instead, God gives them to us.  Thus, most of the important things God asks you to do come with little choice on your part.  Furthermore, the author underscores, our present callings give us plenty to worry about.  Yet, in the end God will get you where you need to be.  And, He’ll bless any decision made in faith and love.

Therefore, concentrate on things you can control.   And the callings God’s already placed before you.  Also, Rev. Leininger implores, think of the relationships in you life as God-given.  If you embrace these people as ones God’s placed in your life for a reason and a season, how might your perspective change?  As you serve these people, you might also receive His blessings through them.

Finally, in his book Luther on Vocation, Gustav Wingren describes Luther’s view of neighbors.  Wingren writes:

“For every man his neighbor is a moving reality to which God’s command is joined, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’  Without his having any choice, his neighbor is given to him.”

Today’s question: How do you respond to God-given callings with little choice on your part?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The cross of Christ shines”

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Dave Henning

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