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The Myth of Calling

May 11, 2010

When I was nineteen years old, I wanted more than anything else in the world to become a published songwriter. I was passionate, and completely consumed with this idea, believing it was my one and only true calling from God for my life. Of course, now I know that there is another name for that kind of magical thinking: it’s a mental disorder called “Delusions of Grandeur.”

Needless to say, the songwriting thing didn’t work out.

But thirty years later, here I am sitting in a suburban Pennsylvania office, working in a corporate management position. Am I happy and fulfilled now? Sure, pretty much. I enjoy my job. I am good at, and I make a decent living. Isn’t that what everyone wants?

It’s just that this is not what I had so passionately imagined for myself when I was younger.

Life kind of hammered out a path for me that I never would have dreamed of, on my own. Through years of iterative circling and evolving and reinventing, I created an entirely new calling for myself – one driven by necessity, ambition, responsibility, and yes, ego.

The circuitous route that got me here offered its fair share of anxieties, dead-ends, and despondency. In other words, the whole picture didn’t all just land at my feet in a prayer meeting one day.  But in retrospect, I am glad for it. Because there were also a good deal of courageous decisions, defining moments and full-fledged victories that helped shape my career. Together, these experiences somehow forged the best of my gifts, strengths, and interests into the work that I now do.

So what happened to my original, super-spiritual-sized “Call” from God? Did it change? Was I just immature and idealistic? Or was I unfaithful to my true calling, trading it in for something lesser?

To continue reading this post at the High Calling Blogs, click here.

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