Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…” (Genesis 12:1 NRSV)
When the Lord saw that (Moses) had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:4-5 NRSV)
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. (Luke 1:30-31 NRSV)
…suddenly a light from heaven flashed around (Saul). He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. (Acts 9:3-5 NRSV)
These biblical saints (and many others) inspire me with their courage, their trust in God, their faithful obedience, and their full submission to God’s call. Abram became Abraham as he left his home to follow God into new lands. Moses brought his people out of exile. Mary became the accepting, loving and selfless mother of Jesus. Saul became Paul, a faithful witness and a prolific writer of several of the Epistles. All of them relinquished their plans and surrendered their lives to follow God’s call into unknown and vastly different futures.
Meriam-Webster defines the word calling as “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.”
Have you ever sensed a calling in your life? There are times when I feel an inner “nudge” to try a new vocation, or speak about an issue, or listen to someone, or take action, or improve myself. While these callings are important to me, they seem insignificant compared to those of the saints in history and the present. Does God feel I am inadequate in some way? Do I lack the courage, stamina or faith of these people? At times I have wondered why I have not had a call of biblical magnitude or significance… until I came upon this quote:
Each moment… is a new place you’ve never been.¹
Each new day, each future moment is really an adventure into unknown territory. Certainly our days often pass as expected- with a few surprises here and there- but we all can recall some unexpected interruptions in our lives when “we didn’t see THAT coming!” So isn’t every new day a venture into the unknown? Doesn’t facing each future moment take faithful courage? Isn’t this earthly life itself an adventure of a lifetime, one daily adventure with God? Aren’t we like Abraham, Moses, Mary and Paul, as we listen for God’s guidance and direction for our daily living?
God is calling. God is calling each of us to enter into the next new moment as God’s people, ready to act or speak or listen or pause or share or thank or question or trust or deny or surrender or move or rejoice. Like the saints before us, we are called to be faithful, obedient, trusting, courageous, and sacrificial, too. For ALL the moments of our days.
Our calling is this simple and also this difficult: To live with the awareness that God is always moving, working and calling us. To seek God in such a way as to recognize and embrace all that God is asking, offering or revealing. To pray that God will provide whatever is needed for the next step of our journey. To be ready to follow wherever God leads.
¹Mark Strand, New Selected Poems
My Reading Friends,
Currently I am writing daily devotional thoughts for a Lenten series, “Are you talking to ME?”
I will so appreciate your prayers! Please pray that I will be open to the Spirit’s inspiration and creativity. Pray that what I write may be God-pleasing, pure and faithful. I invite you to pray for yourselves, too, that these devotions may bless you in a particular or special way. You will be in my prayers as well.
This year, I will not be posting my blog posts on Facebook, but you may receive daily emails by following me here (click on the “Follow” button) or you may read the posts by visiting this site each day.
Thank you! God bless you.