I regularly have conversations with people about the concept of ‘calling’; what God intends for their life. This article is by a good friend, Andy Crouch, and says with clarity and conviction what I would hope every person I have that conversation with to better understand. Jared Mackey
If you’re a Christian, you don’t have “a calling.” You have three. Two of the three are fundamental and universal—that is, they aren’t optional and they aren’t individual, but they are by far the most important callings in your life. The good news (and hard news, actually) is they each come with a community who can help you fulfill them—in fact, without that community you won’t fulfill them at all.
YOUR FIRST FUNDAMENTAL CALLING IS SHARED WITH EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING: TO BEAR THE IMAGE OF GOD.
We are here to reflect the Creator into the creation, and to reflect the creation’s praise and lament back to the Creator. To bear the image is to exercise dominion, caring for and cultivating the good world and making it very good through our creative attention. Most human work falls under this heading, which is why Christians work gladly alongside neighbors who don’t share our faith, and also why almost all human work is perfectly appropriate for Christians. It requires no more justification than this: bearing the image by working fruitfully in the good world is what we were always meant to do.
For the great majority of human beings, this calling is fulfilled primarily in the first and most fundamental human community: the family. The image bearers are called to be fruitful and multiply. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” From that union come every one of us image bearers, always already immersed in a human community, whose faces we sought as soon as we were born. This is not the “nuclear family” of the late industrial West, but the extended family that has known us since our birth and will, if we are blessed, surround and provide for us at our death. Whether or not we go on to form new families of our own, our human calling is inextricably linked with the family where we first found our name, language, identity, and home.