In my goal of purchasing “no more books” for this year, I’m picking up and reading books I already own. It’s fun to pursue and finish a book I’ve been set on reading for some time.
As I write this, I just finished a beautiful little book titled, “Riley Unlikely” by Riley Banks-Snyder. As the back of the cover explains, “This is the story of how God took a thirteen-year-old girl and transformed her into a nineteen-year-old missionary. It’s the story of how he can take seemingly mismatched parts and fit them together brilliantly. It’s the story of how he can change our lives and dramatically shift our dreams. All this time, he has been tailor-making me for Kenya’s kids, and them for me” a perfect match from an unlikely story.”
As someone who has always longed to go to Africa, this book was a true delight for me to read. Riley’s heart to provide for practical needs paired with her heart to love and care for the children and orphans is simply beautiful. It hits so close to home. I have always been drawn to Africa, even from a young age. The brilliant colors, simplistic living, hard work, pure joy and contentment, full trust in God amidst the struggle, and the beautiful people there … yes, these are just a few of the reasons why I love Africa (even though I’ve only loved it from half way around the world).
There was one little paragraph in the book that seemed to jump off of the page as I read it. I have since read it over and over and over again,
When you’re serving just because you can, the work is useful and beneficial and good. But you’ll stay committed to it only as long as it stays convenient. By contrast, when you’re serving in a capacity where you feel called, you’ll move heaven and earth if you have to, to see it through.
Can or Called?
As I seek the Lord for what He has planned for my life (however great or small the journey), I believe this to be a good and helpful distinction to make. Am I doing ____ because I can, or because I’m called? It doesn’t have be grand doings, like going to Africa, but can be a simple way of serving, loving or helping others.
Doing things because we can or because we’re called, BOTH are beneficial and good, but one will compel us to keep pressing forward, despite the circumstances. As the author says, “you’ll move heaven and earth if you have to, to see it through.”
Does this bring to mind anything you are doing in your life because you can or because you’re called?
Perhaps you are serving locally, starting a new business or ministry, teaching your children at home, leading worship, caring for the orphans (maybe in foster care), going back to or continuing to work, furthering your education, cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, writing books (or blogs!), serving your local government, traveling to foreign lands, or counseling others who are struggling? They may not always be fun at every turn, but we will likely feel compelled to and called to do this good work.
When passion wavers, our calling catapults us forward to see it through.
I experience this every year (or day!) in our homeschooling journey. I feel Papa and I are called to teach, train up and disciple our children at home. However, I struggle with various aspects of the process. Even after 10 years of homeschooling, I often struggle with feeling inadequate, like I’m failing, like I don’t know what I’m doing, and like I’m suffocating under the pressures of doing it right. Despite this personal battle within me, I continue to learn, plan, and teach our children. There is much joy experienced and many memories are created amidst the daily routines of our schooling. I know it’s what we are, what I am, called to do.
It is in this calling, that I do not give up.
I press on.
I stay up late at night and wake up early in the morning to do what needs to be done.
I move heaven and earth.
I will see it through.
Friends, whatever you may be facing, whatever decisions you need to make, whatever you are currently experiencing, whatever journey lies before you, rest assured, He who called you, is faithful.
You may still be discovering what God is leading or calling you to do, and that’s part of the journey, too! Be patient. Trust. It will likely come and unfold before you when you least expect it. Keep watching. Read His Word. Pray. Wait for His timing. Move when He moves. Follow where He leads.
It’s an exciting and powerful time when shifting from doing things because you can, to do things because you are called.
Wherever you are in the journey, I encourage you to trust Him in it.
To God be the Glory!