This past Sunday, as Paul McDill walked us through four ways of growing in God at the c|Life Forney campus, I found myself making a mental checklist.

  1. Connect with God – Read your Bible, study your Bible with others and pray every day. Got it.
  2. Connect with others – Be sure to be a part of a Community Group, form relationships with believers for accountability and structure, serve others inside and outside of the church. Got it.
  3. Connect to your calling — ??? A big blank. Wait, how do we do that?
  4. I don’t know… I was still thinking about #3.

Do you wonder what your calling is and how to find it?

We tend to spend many nights of prayer and many days of wonder asking God and ourselves what our gifts might be. How am I different from others? What makes me unique? When will I learn where my gifts lie so that I can use them to affect others?

At the center of these questions is me. What about me? And who could blame me? We have been nursed on a culture of self. Self-esteem, self-confidence, self-assurance, self-awareness and self-support are the virtues supreme. If we are ever to effectively affect others, we must first focus on ourselves; find our gifts, isolate them, hone them and then apply them. We must improve ourselves before we can improve others.

We have been raised into this strange notion that, to represent God, we must first build up and promote ourselves. But when we look out at the world, do we see ourselves or do we see the glory of God? Why would we marvel at such splendor as this creation and then seek ourselves in it? Our place is obvious. We are that which is inherently valuable to God, so much so, that he carved a universe out of nothing and placed us in it, giving us the tools we needed in order to find him in it. He allowed us to see how ineffectual and small we are as well as how valuable and unique. We are not gods, the center of our worlds, we are God’s wonder, the expression of his love.

And what is unique about each one of us is the way in which God touched our imaginations, opened our minds, breathed this truth into our souls and brought us to our knees at the foot of the cross.

That’s our gift — the story that God gave each one of us that drew us to him. No matter where we find ourselves or what we end up doing, we can take this gift with us and share it with others. And we do not love ourselves so much that we should shrink away from our story.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as the shrink from death.
— Revelation 12:11