My wife and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary in Italy. In my absence, I asked my friend Gary Barkalow to write a couple blogs.
Gary has spent his life studying Calling—you could call him a Calling Expert. I invite you to enjoy with me as he shares.
“Ok, the idea that I possess a glory, splendor, strength, brilliance that is extraordinary seems a little farfetched. It’s not my personal experience. I think my effect is pretty small. I can only do the best with what I’ve got and that ain’t much.”
Dallas Willard wrote,
Now what we can do by our unassisted strength is very small. What we can do acting with mechanical, electrical, or atomic power is much greater. Often it is so great that it is hard to believe or imagine without some experience of it.
But even that is still very small compared to what we could do acting in union with God himself, who created and controls all other forces (The Divine Conspiracy).
Our life was never designed to be “unassisted.” And yet, that is how we live—okay, I live—most of the time. Partly because I believe the lie that I’m on my own. Partly because of my fear that God won’t come through. Partly because “it’s hard to believe or imagine it without some experience of it.”
Jesus repeatedly said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Matt. 4:17
Dallas told the story of growing up on a farm in southern Missouri where electricity was not available. Then, one day, it was announced that power lines would be brought in. It was an opportunity for a different way of life if they if they chose to tap into them. He writes,
The comparison, you may think, is rather crude, and in some respects it is. But it will help us to understand Jesus’ basic message about the Kingdom of the Heaven if we pause to reflect on those farmers who, in effect, heard the message: ‘Repent, for electricity is at hand.’
How we live
I often need to repent of my disbelief and non-reliance on God and His Kingdom, which usually comes only after an acute discontent with my ineffective words or actions. I must choose the assistance of God throughout my day as I am listening, speaking, deciding, creating, offering, completing, etc.
Many times, as I follow my heart into helping a person discover their glory, I find myself without a clue. No scent, no sign to follow. Then the desire to help turns into regret as I find myself facing my incapability—my unconsciously chosen unassisted life. During that moment, I start to pray for the Kingdom of God to come over the conversation.
And then, bingo, something comes up; one of those “ah has” that surprises us both. As Dallas says, it is “the striking availability of God to meet present human needs through our actions.”
You–we–actually posses a glory and brilliance!
You possess a glory, a splendor, a brilliance which is unique to you but a part of the glory of God. As Paul says, “we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).
We are to live an unveiled, divinely assisted, every-increasing life. This is the normal Christian life.
With the assistance of God,
To learn more about Calling, I suggest these resources:
- Gary’s book It’s Your Call, paperback or Kindle
- It’s Your Call Guidebook (scroll down)
- Online Calling Course
- Weekend retreats
Ciao (Italian for either Hello or Goodbye),