The Call

It was just a momentary thing, a quick “vision,” something I could have ignored, and gone on with my life. I saw a hand right in front of me, pinkish, emerging out of darkness, with the index finger crooked at me, indicating a move towards it. That’s all I could make of the experience, but I was intrigued. What did this mean? Where did this hand want me to go? Who or what was behind the hand?

I was intrigued, but really I didn’t make too much of it other than that something was calling me into the unknown in a general way. It wasn’t the only call I’ve received; I’ve written elsewhere about the call to “write!” I was called twenty-five years ago to surrender my life to the Lord. And there have been many subtle “calls”– in the midst of a conversation to say something I wouldn’t ordinarily say, to take a friend with strange behavior to the doctor, to go home by a different route for some unknown reason, to try this idea or that. I look for special resonance or even someone really insisting that I do something. Most “calls” have been ideas that pop into my head that, on reflection, turn out to be ideas for essays, Sunday School classes, retreats and now even a 2-CD set of guided visualizations.

I have learned to listen for the call in the busyness of my daily life, in my morning “sitting with the Lord,” as I drive somewhere, in a conversation with a friend, etc. I keep a notebook handy wherever I am, so that I can jot at least a word or phrase, so that I don’t lose it. Later I go back and see what the idea is calling me to, and as I follow the idea, there seems to be a step-by-step process that unfolds that takes me somewhere, often to unfamiliar place. An idea evolves into what it was meant to become. Because I am writing this blog, the ideas are often about essays I am to write.

I live my life by paying attention to these calls; I don’t do things I don’t feel called to do. I am so willing to follow the Lord’s lead, because my life simply works a whole lot better when I do. I am more loving towards myself and others, I have more energy and joy in my life, I have a sense of meaning and purpose about what I do, and there is just this wonderful sense of adventure! I moved to Charlotte because I felt called to. In fact, as I left California two years ago I had the distinct feeling that there were things I would be doing in Charlotte that I couldn’t do in California. I am not sure of why that is true, but I did start the blog the month before I left, I’ve been more dependent on the Lord because of the move which has deepened my commitment to and love for Him, I’ve started to lead retreats and am now marketing myself as a retreat leader, I have just recorded a 2 CD set of guided visualizations which will be returned to me ready to sell by the end of this year—in two weeks.

None of this, except for the blog, was even a tiny idea at the time of the move. All of this has happened because I was willing to entertain the ideas, the clues and the outright calls that the Lord has sent me and let them percolate and evolve and take me where they will. One thing I love about answering his call is that I don’t know what the outcome is, so I can only focus on the process and my commitment to it. There is nothing I can judge about how I’m doing, except this: am I following God’s will for me as best I discern it?

I’ve learned to distinguish that voice among all the other interior voices. It’s always thinking totally different from my own thinking. It doesn’t think limitations or lack of training. It doesn’t think in fear or doubt. It isn’t ego-protective of me or trying to turn me back to the past. God’s voice is forward thinking, positive, loving to me and others; it builds on my talents and transforms my weaknesses. It is creative and fresh.

Is there something beckoning you in your life? Do you pay attention to God’s voice in your life? Are you longing to live your life at a deeper level, with meaning and purpose? Make a commitment to pay attention to what the Lord is saying to you in the events of your life, in the spaces between busyness, in your everyday world. Your life will be richer for it.

last edited on December 13th, 2009 at 3:02 PM

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