It is a huge advantage if you have identified your calling earlier in life. The earlier, the better. Sadly, we don’t have any idea what it was during our younger years. There are what they call as Quarter Life Crisis, or After-Grad struggles. I recall it was a tremendously stressful period of my life before. I experienced a lot of indecisive moments, unfounded fears and forked roads. It’s good to note that fulfilled people are those who discovered their calling early in life and stayed with it for a lifetime. Warren Buffet, for example, started his investment ventures as early as 14; Manny Pacquiao, before 18; Mark Zuckerberg, also in his younger years.
There are many friends of mine who have graduated in a certain College course and did not pursue it after graduation. They have discovered in the middle of their college years that their calling takes divergent path from what they had studied for. They faced a difficult time of decision, yet they have to choose to spend the rest of their time in something that they know they aren’t into, or risk their previous investments to pursue the thing they wanted to do.
There are people that because they don’t know what their calling in earlier life, they make their decision based on the market demand. In short, which course will pay you the most. Some are forced by their parents or some are driven with by friends’ decisions.
Calling is related to God’s Will. His primary will for our lives include: (1) Us being Saved, (2) Sanctified, (3) Submissive and other revealed will from His word. The Gospel or His Word is His power to rescue, to save and to change your life (Romans 1:16).
It was until I was regenerated and was exposed to rich Theological resources, Christian Worldview materials, Reformed Theology and Biblical expository-centric scholars that I knew I wanted to study the relationship between Theology and Economics. Before, I viewed Economics as a total stranger to Christian principles, as light is to darkness.
I’m always wondering why there are few Christians making great impact in the marketplace, in their careers or professions. One reason is that I think many Christians don’t realize that their calling is sacred. Work is a form of worship. We are priests of creation, meaning, we sanctify and make the holy the created order; we reflect the likeness of our Creator in the things that we do. I also think the reason why is that many Christians still possess elements or remnants of paganistic worldviews or non-biblical mindset. In the Gospels, the Mustard Seed parable gives us an insight that genuine rebirth gives way to continuous growth and fruitfulness.
Looking at the glorious history, we can see that our past is filled with great memories of Christians of old who made a dent in the world, who shifted worlds, conquered horizons, create social impact through the Gospel. It’s worthy to note that the great scientists of old who ushered the Great Awakening were from the lines of Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton and so on. Even the concept itself, a revolution that swept the world for the better, were started by Christians themselves, namely, the Puritans, who were heirs of the Reformers. A group of people faithfully founded and grounded in the Scriptures. Harvard itself was a Magnum Opus of truth, a pioneer of civilization, a forerunner of universal education. So will there also be few Christians who will make social breakthroughs in our generation? Idle, unproductive, ineffective and
There are things in life that at first you won’t know as your calling. You will know later that you have the heart to desire and pursue it no matter what the cost. Calling gives you the drive, pleasure and sense of purpose in life. Calling is something that you will love pursuing all the days of your life. You aren’t just motivated to earn from it, you see and feel that it is what you were made to be.
As time flies, your roots in your calling should grow deeper. They should accelerate and develop networks, just like the natural roots of a tree. Picture yourself as a tree: The longer you stay, the more “underground rocks” you overcome, the more pursuant you are to your call, the better and stronger tree you become.
When I was in high school, I did not know anything about leadership. I see myself as shy, anti-social, self-critical and insecure. I had no idea that I have diverse interests in design, leadership and creativity.
It was after I joined a National TV Reality Program that I got some exposures to different fields. Later on I discovered that I have no interest nor calling in the entertainment industry. When I went back to my high school, my friends pushed me to join the Student Government, and this event laid down the foundations of what I’m gonna love throughout my days. I had pretty well decided that I want to lead, create or teach in my life. It would have something to do with the combination of this two, because I knew I am going to spend my life thinking. It would be nice if I find somebody who would give me the opportunity me to think, teach or be creative, and it would add another layer of joy, if there will be people who would hire and pay me to do what I love. For you, isn’t it lovely as well? That’s how amazing God is.
It was also during these years that I trained under some mentors and discovered my love for Graphics Design. I created newsletters, edited articles, laid out text flows and so on. Until know, I still love what I do. I have a sense of purpose.
Most people have a job, but don’t have a calling. They merely work for the sake of salary and for the sake they can get their mouths to be fed. They don’t give life to what they do. They don’t make any breakthroughs. They don’t innovate nor rethink everything in a systematic way in terms of their propositions about the way the world works. When ideas about their work or project comes, they easily come and go, because what they do is not their calling. Only few people are committed to their calling. They stay true and stick to it no matter what.
The great advantage that we have today is the internet. We have something that wasn’t there a century ago. The earlier you discover your calling, the greater the opportunities for your knowledge to have a compounding effect.
This is why it is very important to know you calling very early in life. You accumulate experience and let them compound through the years. If you only focus on your job from age 18 to age 40, you will only have a job at the later period of your life. For a calling, there is a continuity even after your retirement years. It is something that you will love to keep on doing.
If you decide early what that calling is, and spend one hour a day to harness that, you will have 7 hours in one week, and 300 hours in one year. That’s 3,000 hours in a decade. It’s been noted that you need 10,000 hours to be a master of something. So when you reach around 40 or 50, what you’ve put on those hours will surely determine how you will handle your calling. You’ll reach this point earlier if you decide to make your calling as your full-time venture. That’s why calling involves risk. It involves being brave enough to brace criticisms, challenges but at the same time enjoying the rewards. If you spend 8 hours a day for your calling, you’ll have 23,000 in a decade. That’s a lot of practice time. If Perseverance of the Saints is found in you, it’s an evidence that you are truly saved.
You may plan out significant events to enhance your calling. Or for the mean time, you may support your calling with your job. You may write a book, make videos, create seminars, form groups, network with same-minded people, buy resources, watch tutorials and so on. You will start building your capital base and it will be stronger as the days go by. You don’t have to wait until 50 to be passionate about your calling. You can start building and strengthening that as early as today.
The compounding effect will even grow as you go public with your calling. You announce it to the world and some will scorn, but many will support you. You were built as a part of a body and you have a specified function, a role to fulfill. You are not useless. Stay on the Body of Christ.
Decide to commit your life to the development of an idea related to your calling. Pour yourself, invest, learn and grow in it. Continue to do it and don’t give up. Someday you want to look back and see your life filled with fulfillment rather than regret. Face your Creator with smile in His face saying, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
Follow it and claim the promise of this principle: “But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands” (Mark 10:30a).
As Einstein said, “Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.” We are now in the exponential phase. Don’t hide your message. Make a dent in the universe. Give some shot.
One idea: You can even turn your passion into profit.
Best age to identify and stay in your calling? The earlier the better. Would you rather take guts and courage and stamina to find and stay on it, or just stay around the corner and sulk and spend the rest of your life in wishful thinking wondering on the what ifs. Up to you.