This is the time of year for graduations from high schools, colleges and universities. It is a time of year when students are moving from their education into looking for jobs and their first career area. Many of them go forward with passion and dreams desiring to move into their calling for their life that they have studied so hard for, be it in the area of healthcare, education, business or some other career area. Many times the lofty dreams run smack dab into the harsh realities of difficulties in the workplace. Or as we see now simply difficult economic times trying to find a job. I was reminded afresh of this time period as we recently watched the movie, This Is Our Time.
The movie looks at the lives of 5 young Christian university graduates full of excitement as to how they plan to shake up the world with their career dreams and their education. The story continues to show instead of seeing their dreams come true shows them running in to difficulties and tragedies of their own making and happenstance occurrences. Knowing this was a Christian movie I was afraid it would be a syrupy and sappy story of showing how everything magically falls into place in life for Christians. This in reality rarely happens. Instead the story delves into a real life possible tragedy that forces the main characters to battle with doubt of where God is at in times of trouble. It also looks at the complexities of their career lives and the subject of having a calling in one’s life.
The mentor for the group of students is a former Professor of theirs who on the subject of calling brings up the idea that following a calling is not just what you are doing in your job, but a matter of being. Who are you in your core values and inner being? With careers, when the subject of calling is discussed it often is looked at from the standpoint of following a particular career path. It is the job that you are “doing”. The Professor was trying to have them look at the inward view of who they were in their core values as a major part of calling. From their standpoints of being Christians, the professor was trying to get across to them whether they were doing sandwich making or missions work in India, were they building up the values of Christ internally in their hearts and minds?
Personally for me I see calling as both doing and being. The doing reminds me the Apostle Paul’s statement in Colossians 3:23 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”. All that we do; and of course our work is a doing, we should do with passion as serving God not the boss or supervisor. Then the being side of calling relates in my thinking to another writing of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 & 2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” This moves beyond mere doing as Paul speaks of the transforming of the mindset that affects our core values internally.
The movie, This Is Our Time, has a thoughtful story line that challenges how we use our time on this journey here on earth. It also reminded me to think through how I am following His calling in my personal and work life – the doing and being of life.
Reflection: What comes to mind as you think of life calling? Do you think it is more doing or being?