What is a “Calling” Anyway?

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Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  – Matthew 16:24

When someone says that they have been “called” to a vocation or mission, have you ever wondered, how?

Is a calling manifested in a burning bush, as with Moses, or a lightning bolt, as with Martin Luther?  These two instances serve to point out, that there is no one way God’s calling is communicated and received.

I have heard it said, that there are three phases to a calling – the first being the calling itself, the second, being the discovery or recognition of the calling, and finally, the response to the calling.

I would liken the first phase, when the calling is manifest in a succession of events in one’s life, to links in a chain that are connected to each other for one purpose.

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Seeing the chain beyond just its links, would be the second phase, and finally, our response to that realization, would be the third.

Living Forward

As I was leaving the bookstore the other day, the title of a book caught my eye – “Living Forward”.   Although the text of the book had no spiritual applications, the title could have been the title of anyone’s faith journey.

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In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:6

Each new day is an opportunity to live forward and be attentive to events in our life that may be forming a chain – a calling, or in some cases, a divine re-direction intended to put us back on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life.