Summary: Your professional calling is how you make a living for yourself; your spiritual calling is how you make a life for another
Calling -- What Do Calls Look Like?
Last week we discussed the call of the world versus the call of our Savior. We described the differences between the two and why it’s better to answer the call of our Savior. However, it’s difficult to do that if you don’t know what that call looks or sounds like.
Think of it this way:
On February 22, 2001, a young woman named Leyla and her daughter, Erika, were visiting friends in Edmonton, Canada. Leyla was partying with a friend that night, while leaving a relative to babysit 13-month-old Erika. When Leyla returned home, the babysitter left through the back door -- a door with a broken latch.
In the early hours of the morning, Erika walked out of the house through the door with the broken latch. She was wearing nothing more than her diaper -- in February -- in Canada. The temperature outside was about -11 degrees Fahrenheit.
Erika was found a short time after 3:00 AM by her mother, frozen and unbreathing in a snowbank about 25 feet from the house. She was immediately taken to a local children’s hospital. Upon arrival, she was considered to be clinically dead -- she had no pulse for 2 hours and had a body temperature of 61 degrees. Compare this to the “normal” temperature of 98.6 degrees and you can begin to understand the incredible hypothermia she suffered.
Leyla, Erika’s mother, was detained by provincial police for five hours on suspicion of child neglect, and even though she was never formally charged, she became the subject of intense media scrutiny. She ended up moving away from Edmonton to avoid the media attention.
Erika didn’t understand what snow was really all about, or that it was dangerous. She didn’t really know why it was bad to wander around outside, at night, with no clothes on. She was only 13 months old -- she was barely walking by herself! Nevertheless, she had to suffer the consequences.
The news is not all bad, though. Erika is better known in Canada as “Canada’s Miracle Child”. After being placed under a warming blanket in the hospital, Erika’s heart spontaneously started beating again. She was in the hospital for six weeks, during which time the doctors rushed to save her fingers, toes, feet, and hands from amputation due to frostbite. Thankfully, amputation turned out to be unnecessary -- all she required was skin grafts and therapy due to a slight deformation of her left foot which requires her to wear special shoes.
Erika’s story is a great example of what can happen if someone is not prepared. Erika didn’t know enough about the cold to really understand how to react to it, and she paid the price. The same is true for all of us -- if we don’t know enough about something, we won’t be able to react to it correctly.
If we don’t know what God’s call can look like in our life, we won’t be able to answer it properly. The problem, though, is that the call of God is different for every person! We’re not all called to the same purpose for God’s Kingdom. 1 Corinthians 12:12-20 says, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” Ephesians 4:16 adds, He (meaning Christ) makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
In these verses, the “body” is the body of Christ, or the church. The body of Christ is set up and organized just like a human body. Every part of the body has it’s own separate function and purpose. The same is true for calling. If someone is called to be a ditch digger, does that mean they’re not as “spiritual” or “good” as someone who is called to be a preacher? Of course not! On the flip side, someone who is called to be a preacher is not necessarily any more helpful to building God’s Kingdom than a ditch digger would be.