My primary calling is related to my identity in Jesus Christ. Am I rightly related to the Lord? Is every interaction I have something that pleases Him? The evil one spends so much time accusing God's precious children...do I spend my time connected with His righteousness and His character enough that the accuser has nothing to say about me? My calling is first about being, not doing. It's about who I am in Christ, not what I am doing for Christ. I serve an Audience of One. The outpouring of ministry comes from the inpouring of Holy Spirit. I am called to seek His face continually and in every interaction I have and to obey Him in everything (Psalm 115:1; 1 Cor. 10:31; 2 Cor. 2:14-15).
As calling relates to a specific vocation, let me offer a picture that helps me. In May 2009, I was sitting on the shore of Long Lake in Eagle River , WI and I peered down into the water. I could see the bottom! It was so clear and clean! I thought of other lakes and rivers that I've been to where you can't see the bottom even where the water is just a few inches deep. You might see muck or seaweed but who knows what's really down there. But Long Lake is so clear - you know exactly what is in the lake and what your feet are touching when you wade out there. People are like that. Some lives you peer into and all you see are murky waters. You might catch of glimpse of something from time to time if the water settles at all but at the slightest touch the murky-ness is back. There is so much junk in their life or they are trying so hard to hide themselves in the stuff of life.
Then there are people like Long Lake - you see right through them, right to the heart of who they are. You don't have to wonder what they are made of because you can see if for yourself. They are refreshing to be around and you can't help but want to drink in what they are about. I want to be that kind of person - a Long Lake person. I long to be transparent. For others to see my life and know exactly what I am about and what God is doing in me. I long for realness and vulnerability. At times in life, a speed boat rushes by and waves roll in. The waters are disrupted but guess what? If you are a Long Lake person, you could still see through the waters. Of course, you could take a stick and stir up the sand at the bottom and some murky-ness would occur. We all have junk in our lives. But God is in the business of redeeming our junk and wants to use us to minister to others. Broken people reaching broken people...(Matt. 28:18-20; Micah 6:8).
And that is my heartbeat for students...to pour into their lives out of what God has done and is doing in me. Because of Christ's love for me, I am compelled by love for students - to come alongside them, point them to Truth in Scripture, to encourage them (1 Thess 5:11), and pray for them. My heart beats wildly when I see a student "get it" - when the light of spiritual truth goes on - or when I am involved, directly or indirectly, in equipping them for life and ministry (2 Tim 2:2). Perhaps it could all be boiled down to discipleship, equipping, and encouragement. I long to invest in the lives of students - to dive deep into life on life ministry.
Where will this passion take me? To a college campus? To the mission field? To a church or camp? To something else yet to be discovered? Perhaps all of these. I don't know. But I do know the One who holds my future and I trust Him to guide my steps (Prov. 3:5-6 & 16:9).