Friday, January 23, 2015
God Has a Target for Each of Us--by Linden Malki
Some people seem to have been born with a life target and the talent and drive to go straight for it. Most of us weren't. And that's OK. Most of the time what we think we want to do as children comes from a romantic picture and limited knowledge. Even so, we are fortunate to have the freedom to dream.
Opportunities may be limited by where we live, the expectations we grow up with, our physical abilities or disabilities, the economic conditions we find ourselves in. In fact, none of us have unlimited options. Not even riches or power can make everything possible. There is a story of a royal prince, who, upon being asked what he'd really like to do, said "I wanted to be an engine driver, but realized that I'm kind of stuck." The power to do anything one wants does not create happiness; the most dramatic historical illustration of that is Caligula, the third Roman Emperor (AD 37-41), who rejected any limits upon his behavior or power and insisted being worshiped as a living god. He is considered to have become insane, and was assassinated by a conspiracy involving most of the government.
God is is not bound by what we see as limits. The One who knows best what "all that we can be" really is, is the One who made us what we are. We do have choices, however. The most important choice is to recognize this, and to accept His authority and wisdom. As the writer of Hebrews puts it, "Anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists, and that He responds to those who seek Him." (Heb 11:6b)
We were all created with a different set of gifts, talents, and interests. Talents often show themselves young, but our understanding of our giftings and callings usually grow as our relationship with God and His community grow. Sometimes they get mixed up with a quest for status and attention, and our human ego. Often others recognize our gifts before we do.
The story of our calling can be very simple and straightforward, or very surprising and convoluted. I found out my first year in college what I was not called to do, and my interim plan was to learn as much as I could about whatever available interested me, so as to be prepared for opportunity when it appeared. As it turned out, God dropped me into a place and a job that I could never have predicted nor expected. Over the years, talents and interests that I had growing up have developed into callings that again, I would not have imagined. (This blog is one of them!)
Learning to recognize who we truly are, and who we were created to be, is part of learning to be open to God, and listen. Or, as a very wise man put it, 'Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. " (Psalm 19:14)