There is a certain idea within the Christian church about what God’s calling for our lives should look like. Some envision a life of quiet sacrifice, pushing aside all personal desire and passion for the sake of God’s kingdom. Others see a life in which their passions, dreams, and natural talents all work for the glory of God. As students of an online Christian college, we are sure that those same questions and concerns aren’t far from your mind. As followers of Christ, are we relegated to lifelong sacrifice, never pursuing our own dreams or desires? Or are we free to follow our hearts wherever they will?
Finding the Middle Ground
Maybe the answer isn’t falling into one of those two choices. Maybe the truth lives on the middle path. Consider Psalm 37:4: “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This verse provides insight into the desires of God. Notice the verse doesn’t read, “Delight in the Lord and he will give you the bare necessities to survive.” What this tells us is that God doesn’t want for us to merely survive, he wants us to live.
What Does Living Mean to You?
So ask yourself, what would you spend the rest of your life doing if money were no option? What is it really that moves you, that brings you joy? What makes you feel like you are most yourself? Art provides us with the best image of passion. Musicians write and perform songs because they are moved to do so. Writers craft narratives and poetry because it expresses a deeply profound truth about themselves and about the world around them. And we as their audience find something of ourselves in their work. More than that, the Divine exists in the work of our hands. Our talents, our passions, they are gifts, designed by God himself. When we create, when we perfect those gifts, we do more than make ourselves happy, we bring joy to the heart of the Almighty.
When Passion Meets Calling
It is true that there are times when our calling might not align with our talents. Consider: You might be a naturally gifted cook, people fall over themselves to eat the meals you prepare. But God may be calling you to run a daycare or go on a missions trip. What is to be done when our passions conflict with our calling? We need to understand that sometimes our passion and our calling aren’t necessarily the same thing. However, it is a mistake to think that just because the two aren’t aligned that we have to put one aside for the sake of the other. After all, both bring glory to God. Another thing to keep in mind is that your passion and your calling may not be aligned right now. The apostle Paul desired greatly to visit Rome and spread the Gospel there, but he was taken on a different path than he would have chosen and ended up coming to Rome after fulfilling God’s calling for his life in other regions of the world.
Find an Ally at Colorado Theological Seminary
As online Christian college students, part of the journey you are on is learning to prayerfully discern the will of God in your lives. That is the journey that every Christian is on. Through prayer, study, and listening, we can discover the purpose for our lives. Sometimes, that purpose will align with our natural talents, and other times it won’t. But it’s important to remember that your natural talents and passions were gifted to you, and even if you aren’t called to a vocation that is directly related to them, enjoying your gifts still brings glory to our creator. If you are searching for more information or direction on the path towards your future, Colorado Theological Seminary wants to help. Contact us today for more information about our programs and services.