One of the most frequently asked questions I encounter during my travels and speaking engagements across the country is, "How do I find my calling?" I can relate to this inquiry because I once pondered the same question for what felt like an eternity. While sorting through some photographs I took in Wyoming, I stumbled upon the image above, which serves as a wonderful illustration.
The photograph above captures the Sheepeater Cliff Bridge in Gardner, Wyoming, located near the entrance to Yellowstone. Observing it from a distance, I expressed my desire to Bryan to get a close-up picture of the bridge. He agreed, and we continued exploring Yellowstone. A few days later, as we returned to Gardner to purchase souvenirs for our family, I noticed the bridge once again from afar.
Our plan was to venture along the Grand Loop Road in hopes of encountering the region's wildlife—bison, elk, wolves, and perhaps even grizzly bears. While we were blessed to witness countless bison, a coyote, and a few pronghorn deer, our desires to spot bears or wolves went unfulfilled.
But here's the astonishing part: We failed to spot the Sheepeater Cliff Bridge despite driving straight towards it and retracing our path. How could this be? We had unknowingly crossed the bridge twice, oblivious to its existence!
Our obsession with glimpsing a bear or wolf had clouded our vision. We kept our eyes trained on everything surrounding us and above us, neglecting to look beneath our feet. Only when we shifted our priority to focus on the bridge did our perspective change.
With renewed determination, we returned to the bridge. Asking Bryan to pull over, I ventured down the steep embankment to gain a better vantage point, capturing the picture you see now below. Suddenly, the bridge became clearly visible, and the fact that I had missed it the first time seemed absurd.
This occurrence speaks to a larger truth about finding our calling. Often, we stumble upon it repeatedly, or even entirely overlook it, because our attention is fixated on something else.
Perhaps we doubt our own capacity to fulfill what God is calling us to do, or we become consumed with comparing ourselves to others and their callings. At times, we allow well-meaning individuals to impose their ideas of what our calling should be upon us.
To truly discover our calling, we must redirect our focus away from these distractions and trust that God has equipped us for the purpose He has ordained for us. I've emphasized this message before, and I'll reiterate it now.
Psalm 37:4 (NLT) states, "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your hearts desires."
This verse is often misunderstood to mean that God grants us whatever we desire. Yet, I believe David intended to convey that as we delight ourselves in the Lord, He shapes our desires to align with His calling for us. Consider the following verse:
Psalm 37:5 (NLT) advises, "Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you."
More often than not, God ignites within us the desire to fulfill precisely what He has called us to do. Although we may feel inadequate or overwhelmed by the magnitude of our calling, the subsequent verse assures us of His assistance. With His guidance, we can accomplish everything that He has called us to undertake by committing our endeavors to Him.
Therefore, I encourage you to realize that your calling may not be as elusive as it seems. You may have contemplated it numerous times already, but your perspective might have obscured its clarity. Reframe your outlook. Employ the eyes of your heart to discern what God is calling you to do, and trust that He will reveal your true purpose.