How You Know You Might Be Missing Your Calling
I heard once that the place God calls you to is "The place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet." - Frederick Buechner "Deep gladness"? You mean God wants us to be happy?
Yes and not necessarily. Following Jesus and fulfilling your purpose or "calling" will not necessarily lead to a happy you 24/7. Why? Because the world is still broken, there is still evil out there.
But it most likely will lead to a fulfilled you which in general will just transform your life. For that, the word "happy" doesn't do it justice. I'd much rather be fulfilled in life than "happy". But the two go hand in hand anyways.
A lot of quotes out there talk about "finding happiness" and talk as if the goal in life is to be happy and if you are happy than you live a great life. Opinion alert: I do NOT believe that to be true.
Here is the deal, overall I would say that people genuinely "like" their life. Most people are not Debbie Downers all the time and when asked if they were happy with their life would answer yes. (Besides the fact that if you truly are not happy you most likely wouldn't admit it to someone when prompted with that question because it is just not the type of thing someone wants to talk about.) But if you were to ask them if they felt fulfilled in their life, well that is a different question.
I would challenge happiness and say it is not the "end all be all" of life. Just like your spouse will not "complete you" or the next gadget won't add value to your life, being happy won't satisfy your life.
Back to that quote. See God made us all, different. D. I. F. F. E. R. E. N. T. Take a moment for that.
We were wired and created separately from everybody else and with that He put something specifically different in each of us. We all have a passion, a love for something, something that brings us joy that other things just don't compare. We have a talent or a dream or a tug on our heart for something, whatever it is! You have it.
I used to think that my dreams were MY dreams. I almost viewed them as selfish. I just wanted that for myself. There have even been times where I prayed against dreams of mine, simply because they scared me. But when God didn't take those dreams away I realized something. Those dreams weren't my dreams.
If they were my own selfish desires why wouldn't He have just taken them? He left them there because He put them there in my heart in the first place! He knew they would tear at me. He knew I wouldn't be able to ignore them and eventually I would do something about it. That is what He wants. But the best part about it is dreams are good things and usually they are that thing. That thing that brings you joy that you dream about doing on a bigger scale or for a bigger purpose.
They are things that bring you joy. He put them there and He wants you to use them. If you feel a pull or passion and that "deep gladness" from it, chances are it's not by chance. Go after it. Talk to God, see what He wants you to do with it.
Don't you get it? If you don't do whatever it is with that thing in you it won't be done! The "deep hunger" of that quote is what the world needs. Whatever that thing is in you, the world needs it and that’s why God made you. There is no one else with your exact mark up, with your exact blueprints. So if you don't fulfill that calling, it won't be done. YOU. Uniquely YOU. Have a spot in this life that you can only fill. Find it and fulfill it.
If you are settling for being just "happy" and not fulfilled in your life. Chances are you are missing your calling. Figure what brings you that deep gladness and ask God what He wants you to do with it. Then, do it!
If you want to hear more of my advice/stories on jobs, calling and passions here are some other posts I’ve written on those topics.