As Christians we use the word ‘call’ a lot. Does God have a calling on our life? Has he called us to write or is writing a distraction from the important things in life such as earning money for our retirement or serving the Lord in a mosquito infested third world country? If writing is part of our calling, what are we called to write?
I remember having this conversation with God almost ten years ago. I was newly married and my husband and I had recently moved to Adelaide from Canberra. I was doing a veterinary locum and I had a couple of hours free in the middle of the day so I decided to go for a walk and talk to God about writing. I’d heard from a friend that the Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing at Tabor-Adelaide was a great course. I wanted to do it, but I wasn’t sure I was meant to. God had given me a clear call to ministry when I was 25 and I’d worked as a pastor for a few years. Was I meant to write fiction? Surely it was more likely that God wanted me to go an above-mentioned mosquito infested country.
I walked through the Payneham streets talking to God about this.
‘I want to do this Lord, but I’m not sure I’m meant to.’
Then God spoke to me by a strong impression in my spirit. ‘Go back to your car, drive to Koorong bookstore, pick a book off the shelf and open it. There you will find your guidance.’
I checked my watch. I had just enough time, so I drove to Koorong and walked inside. The first book that caught my eye was Max Lucado’s, Cure For the Common Life and I opened it (randomly) to page 28 and read:
'That last question trips up a lot of well meaning folks. God wouldn’t let me do what I like to do – would he? According to Paul, he would. “God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him.” (Phil. 2:13 NCV).’
I was stunned that the Lord would answer me so quickly and so clearly. He wanted me to write? I was amazed. I enrolled at Tabor the following year and dived into the delight of honing my craft.
Do we all need a story like this to convince us that we have a calling? I don’t believe so. Recently a friend of mine spoke at my church on this subject. Hoa Stone felt called to go to Vietnam (a mosquito infested country!) to set up an orphanage for abandoned, disabled children. Hoa made these points in his message:
· Your calling/life purpose is already within you. It’s part of your DNA. Look at your life and the special passion you have and that will be your calling.
· Your past is your qualification, not your hindrance. Hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary destiny.
· We need to take steps of faith in God. Tiny, mustard seed steps may be all we can do, but God will honour us.
· The church is about partnering with God for the healing of the world. Together we can make a difference.
If God has put writing on our hearts I believe he will use us as part of that world-healing process. We may have a heart to encourage other believers or our passion might be to write for the mainstream and ‘build bridges’ between God and the lost. We might have a passion for social justice and write spec-fic with a prophetic edge. Whatever our heart, I believe the Lord is saying, ‘Go for it!’
What is your calling? What is your passion as a writer? Please let me know in the comments below.