A friend of ours spoke in church this morning, and his message hit home for me. To paraphrase as succinctly as possible, his challenge was to ask ourselves whether we’re pursuing our own comfort or our calling. I suppose this is a question we can ask ourselves daily, if not all day long. I can, for sure.
As a parent, the opportunities to choose between my own comfort and my calling begin at the earliest hour and end late into the night. On some nights—like those we’ve had in recent days, the choice is readily available around the clock. Am I attentive to the needs of our children, my husband and our household day in and day out, or do I choose to be self-seeking and consider my own comfort first? The true answer, for better or for worse, is both.
I get to decide whether I’m going to let comfort or calling dictate my choices and my life’s direction, even before my feet hit the floor in the morning.
Today’s message was timely as I sat in the pew with a notecard and pencil, writing out single words in a list as they came to me. With the new year just five days away, I’ve been thinking about a word to commit to the coming year as a focus for my head and heart. I’ve done this now for the past several years, and I’ve discovered that it really works as a way for me to ground myself in a particular theme or direction.
I was writing my list of potential words mid-message, because I often find myself especially connected to what God is doing in my life when I can take the same vantage point from our Sunday morning pew. Maybe it’s because we’ve just been focused in worship, or because I’m surrounded by some of the people I love the most. Whatever the catalyst, I value the chance to capture my thoughts on paper in these moments, so I don’t forget the ways that God is moving in my heart and spirit.
As I considered comfort versus calling and how I want to order my life in the next calendar year, my list of word candidates grew and grew. It will be a joy and a challenge to flesh out which of them takes a defining role as I try to steward my time, relationships and responsibilities well in 2016.
In years past, I’ve found direction in words like grow, embrace, rooted and most recently in 2015, intention. Naturally, I never know as I head into a year exactly what it will bring, and it’s always a stretching and sanctifying process to commit to a theme and then watch it take shape. Intention was a hard one for me this past year, but so beautiful, too. And I feel like I’ve grown in the practice of living on purpose as a result. I hope I can continue to do so, and to build on the foundation of intention as the next year unfolds.
Comfort versus calling. What will we do in 2016 that moves us closer to our calling and more fully into who we’re meant to be?
How will we change the world by changing our worlds, first?
excited for what’s to come!