The Clock, The Compass, The Calling

In my life there are three things that help me to become who God wants me to be
Who I am as a person – a disciple – and who I am becoming as I journey with Him
These same three things help me to do what God is calling me to do as a believer
And the call on my life – and on your life as well – changes over time as circumstances change and as you grow and mature in the faith
The clock, the compass and the calling … and I want us to look briefly at these three
The clock helps me to stay on track with what I am doing today – what I need to accomplish today
1 Corinthians 12:7a “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.”

The clock helps me to stay on track with what I am doing today
The clock encourages me to invest in my daily activities and to keep appointments
The clock allows me to fulfil the “Mission of the moment”
Every day there is a contribution that God wants me to make …
Touching a life with the love of God
Doing what is needed to help the church become stronger
Shining a light into the spiritual darkness
Just getting the ‘to do’ list ‘to done’ and thus living my life as a good steward
The compass helps me to stay on track with my destiny – helping me to focus on the vision of who I am and where I am going as a believer … the race that I am running
Psalm 139:16 “Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.”
The compass helps me to know where I am going
The compass helps me to maintain my overall values
The compass keeps the overall direction and goal of my life before me
The compass helps me to be me
The calling is the life God has called me to live as a disciple of Jesus and anything that He has specifically determined I should invest my life in…
FOR ME PERSONALLY – As a believer:
John 12:21 “Sir, we would see Jesus”
FOR ME – As an apostle:
2 Timothy 2:2 “Pass on what you heard from me … to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others.
Expressed as:
Loving God, Equipping people, Mentoring leaders, Reaching nations
The calling is the big picture of what it is to be a disciple
The calling is the big picture of how a life should be lived to glorify God
The calling is also the unique thing God has placed you on the planet to accomplish for Him
The calling is what allows you to make a difference in the world – leaving it different than when you found it
The calling is what gets you excited every day for the rest of your life
The calling is like finding the WHY – the reason you exist, your purpose for living
When you discover your calling, it changes everything
And, it is the specific thing God has called you to be and then do – that you will be remembered for… your legacy
As you follow your calling the clock and the compass help you to maintain a daily focus without losing your long-term perspective
Your calling adds meaning to the daily grind of events, activities, work, family, and people – The clock
Your calling tells you where your “true north” is located so you can adjust the trajectory of your life by looking at the compass
The calling on your life is the “why” of life
When you find your Why – you find your Way
When you find your Why – you find your Will
When you find your Why – you find your Wings
Your life will never be the same once you know what you are called to do and are working to fulfill it every day of your life
For followers of Jesus there is a general calling meant for everyone
Jesus said,
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth … Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world.” (Matthew 5:13a, 14a)
Christ-followers are in this world to be salt and light
Salt makes things better
Light makes things brighter
This is the general calling upon every true disciple of Jesus – a daily calling
This calling is fulfilled only as we follow the foundational call on every true believers life
Matthew 4:19 “”Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.”
And the clock and the compass are there to keep us on target (calling)
The target is “catching fish”
The target is seeing people come into the Kingdom of God
The target is helping people move one step closer to receiving Jesus as Lord and Saviour
The target is living a life so focused on your calling that you are investing in eternity
You can waste your time
You can spend your time
You can invest your time
You cannot “save” time for future use
The target encourages you to “invest” your time
The clock – the compass – the calling
Within the general calling on every believers life there is often a very specific calling
A compulsion to do something unique
A drive to do something that no one else around you is doing
God often calls people to Himself AND to a cause so decisively that everything they are, everything they do, and everything they have is invested for Him in that cause
Mother Teresa described this as “the call within a call.”
When she felt it on September 10, 1946, on a train ride from Kolkata to Darjeeling, she knew her life purpose was to serve the poorest of poor
She immediately set a course to fulfill that calling, serving poor people in Kolkata, and in time she was able to establish the Sisters of Charity
You have a purpose / calling in life as well
Once you discover that specific purpose /calling
Once you know the reason you exist – and it is never too late to discover it
Once you understand the specific thing God wants you to accomplish for Him
This purpose – this calling – gives you a fruitful and fulfilling life
This calling fills your life with passion
This calling motives you to make a difference every day
When it is your calling, you won’t have to chase it
You will be captivated by it
You will be engulfed by it
You will be transformed by it
I want to help you to discover your calling if you have not done so as of yet
AND, it is never too late to discover that unique (specific) calling within the generic (general) calling on all believers
No one has ever been called to do something he or she wasn’t suited for
Calling always matches who you are / “do” comes into line with “be”
Because of this, it is important for you to be self-aware as you discover your calling
You need to know who God has called you to BE before you can discover the unique thing He is asking you to DO
Some questions to help you discover who you are…
If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, even if you never got paid for it, what would you do?
What do people often ask for your help with?
What experiences have you had that you desire to help others with?
What lights you up?
What do you love learning about?
What could you talk about for hours and hours?
What activities are you always self-motivated to do?
What can you do to make a positive difference in the lives of others?
What would you like to do that would live beyond you?
The calling you receive will tap into all of these things
Impacting the world is hard
Impacting the lives of a few individuals is just as hard
Doing it every day is even harder
If you lack passion for the call, your energy will fizzle out
There is a sleepless night test for this one
Is there a cause you want to pursue that is consuming you so much that you can’t sleep at night?
That’s a sign that you might be called to it
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman – civil rights leader
Passion is a great driver towards your calling
If you are not sure about where your passion lies, ask yourself some of these questions:
How do my strengths fuel my passion?
What experiences inform my passion?
What opportunities align with my passion?
How does what I love to do point to my passion?
How does what I do well contribute to my passion?
How does what others say point to my passion?
How does my history of success coincide with my passion?
What does my desire to grow increase my passion?
Talent, skills, experience, and opportunities all align with calling (#1)
But passion provides the fuel to pursue your calling (#2)
A true calling for a believer is never about the person being called
It is about helping others
A calling moves us from being the center of everything in our world to becoming the channel through which good things come to others
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”  Nelson Mandela
So, a calling helps you to live “beyond yourself”
Giving beyond yourself
Serving beyond yourself
Thinking beyond yourself
Loving beyond yourself
Seeing beyond yourself
If you are the center of your universe then you have not discovered or engaged with your calling in life
God’s calling on your life to make a difference wherever you are, with whatever you have, day by day…
A calling always involved something that feels ig
Something that is bigger than you are
It may intimate you
It may even seem impossible
Yet, you feel compelled to get out of your comfort zone to fulfill it
And, when you grab hold of it you are willing to stretch to complete it
You keep moving forward despite the odds
There is an old story about “calling”
A passerby was looking at a building site during the Middle Ages and saw a craftsman working. “What are you doing? asked the passerby.
“I’m laying stone,” the craftsman replied.
The passerby continued on his way and saw a second craftsman doing the same kind of work. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m building a wall,” answered the second craftsman.
The passerby was nearly past the building site when he spotted a third man working. Like the other two, he was a stonemason. “What are you doing?” The passerby asked.
“I’m building a magnificent cathedral,” the third craftsman answered.
He saw the size of his task and knew what his contribution was – never to see the completed project
I think you could call that a cathedral calling.
That is when you recognize that you are doing something bigger than you, and it may never be completed in your lifetime.
Everyone should be part of a cathedral calling because we were meant for more than simply doing work or building careers.
We were made for significance – for making a difference in the world
Having a calling makes you see your world differently
Where you once saw only obligations and responsibilities
You will begin to see options and opportunities
No longer will you be focused on the tasks you are required to do
A whole new world will open up to you of things you want to do
A calling lifts our hearts and expands our options
It can even make the mundane meaningful
A calling drastically changes our perspective for the better
Many people work to make a living and not a life
They live to work instead of work to live
Many people find value in their work
Work for the sake of work – the Puritan Work Ethic – work has value in and of itself
Many people simply work to stay busy and occupied … even when not being paid
Some people simply work because they have to… and, find no fulfillment in what they do
To these people I would say: “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
A strong sense of purpose that comes from knowing what your calling is brings benefits:
Purpose will motivate you – Passion
Purpose will keep your priorities straight – Discipline
Purpose will develop your potential – Stretch
Purpose will give you power to live in the present – Awareness
Purpose will help you move forward – Growth
Purpose will direct your habits – Consistence
Purpose will create a new lifestyle – Significance
But, a reminder, before you can reach this point you must really know who you are
“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling who I am.”Parker Palmer – Center for Courage and Renewal
What do you draw upon when you hit a wall in your life?
Do you rely on grit?
Do you draw on sheer discipline?
Do you work harder?
Those are all good things, but they can’t compare to the power that comes out of knowing what you are currently called to do
“…Calling matters. When you care so deeply about the why – why you’re doing what you’re doing – then and only then are you operating in a way that allows you to overcome the obstacles.”  Dave Ramsey
Nothing in life is as rewarding as finding and fulfilling your calling – Nothing!
Wealth, fame, achievement, recognition – Nothing!
That is why so many celebrities and athletes champion causes
They are looking for the fulfillment that only comes from pursuing a calling
Without  knowing and embracing your calling…
Your deepest needs and desires go unexplored
You are busy but there is a vague anxiety that you are missing purpose
You may have success but you are still searching for significance
You live life with a restlessness because it is not anchored to something of worth
You are missing the moral purpose that gives life its worth
You will never have an inner consistency that you long for
Every day you will come up short in obtaining a sense of fulfillment
Knowing you are called and knowing your calling changes everything
It is the missing piece in the puzzle
The plot of a good story
The musical note that completes the piece
When I am engaged in my calling, the sense I experience is, “I was born for this!”
That was a lot of material to grab hold of … review it, think about it, pray about it
Begin a new journey of discovery
It is not over – and for some of you it is just about to begin or begin again
Fred Swaniker – a leader in Africa states:
“Every now and then, we come to a fork in the road that requires us to either stay on our current life path, or change course and do something radically different.”
If you have not already found your current calling, then you are at the fork in the road
Take the bold way – the radically different path that represents your calling
It may be frightening
It may be uncomfortable
It may feel uncertain
But, rest assured, if you find your calling, you will never regret the difficult journey taken to pursue it, because there is nothing else like it.
So, three questions you need to ask yourself repeatedly throughout life… related to calling:
1> What do I sing about? What fills my heart?
2> What do I cry about? What breaks my heart?
3> What do I dream about? What lifts my heart?
When you die, if people were to describe your life in a single sentence, what would you want it to be?
The direction of your life and the journey you fulfill now will write that sentence!