WHEN CALLING AND OBEDIENCE OUTWEIGH PERSONAL DESIRES
For me to be able to answer this question is to first tell you what my dream life is.
To live on top of a hill, away from the city, its lights, noise, and people. To be there and always reading in the shade, with a gentle breeze visiting me rhythmically as I finish book after book. Occasionally, I may only be stopped by the needs of a toddler, or an infant, or a newborn. I could even be breastfeeding with a view. But all the same, the environment is clean and cool and calm. I could even cook and bake if this were the case. (Has to be a lot of good cookies for my husband.) I’d have no problems overseeing a garden. (And if possible, a swing. Which explains the featured image.)
But my reality is that I live in a city. Where planes fly over my house frequently, neighbors’ footsteps are not unbeknownst to me, and friends can drop by without a warning. It is also hot and it takes expensive screening for me to enjoy air that is not even clean. I definitely hate it that mosquitos in the city are aplenty. The only thing that remains from my dream scenario in this reality is that I have my husband and toddler. I perhaps would get to the gardening, if only to shoo pests away. Now baking might be for another life because life in the city is hectic. There’s more traffic, and so time becomes significantly shorter.
The stark contrast between these two worlds make me think, why not leave the city? Why not pursue my dream life? My dream isn’t too hard to reach anyway, why not go for it?
Well, it all boils down to calling. Let me explain.
More often than not, calling is confused with one’s dreams, hopes, desires, even career. For some people, this is true. They somehow found themselves to be truly called to their profession or to a place where they are able to live the dream. Now others might be more like me. Dreaming of something, but called to another. Like I met a dancer who is so gifted at ballet, but dreams to be a singer. I met an exceptional painter who also would rather be a digital marketer. Both of them crying to me about wanting to be something else, but obviously called and gifted at what they don’t like to do. So I told them what I told myself years ago.
Life isn’t always about what you want to do. The world is full of needs, that we ought to do something that may serve it.
My dream is to be rural, but husband’s calling is to stay near his office, which is in the city. So I am in the city, because I am called to be his wife. My call as a believer is also to be where the people are and not where only trees and plants thrive, and obviously, these human beings with emotions and souls are in the city. Frankly, I don’t like the city but my calling is in it, so I stay in it.
Like I said, some people may have it both: dream and calling in one place. But I also want to speak to those who may be feeling something is amiss. Remember that dreams are not everything, but calling is crucial to your existence, as well as others. It is possible to have a dream life without being fulfilled, but it is impossible to enact a calling and not be fulfilled.
I think sometimes we put too much value on dreams, without realizing they quickly become meaningless when they become sole self-service. In my observation, people who are fulfilled in living their dreams are those who have found a way to bless others through it. On the other hand, people who have lost much personal opportunities in exchange for the chance to help this world, seem to be the most satisfied and peaceful folks in the world. There is something about human beings that is wired to grow toward being missional than whimsical.
Praying today will be a better day for all of us as we think of where we are, and what calling God has placed on our lives. And let me encourage you this: even when His call hasn’t quite coincided with my dreams, my obedience in the end always proves that it is worth it.
Have a great Wednesday!