Calling can often seem abstract, but yesterday’s lunch discussion at the Potter’s House was very real. That was because of the diversity of ages and experiences around the table, and a willingness to be vulnerable. We spanned from 20 to 80 something, with middle age and later decades represented. And we talked about pain.
Whereas other conversations this summer have been more about the future and how to discern where God is calling us, this one looked more at the past. It brought up tough things - death, anger, loss of control - that made the time very rich and challenging. These realities of life helped us consider different perspectives on calling.
A summary of what we were naming came from our youngest participant:
“Calling is a burden to love”
We had talked about how calling can be confusing and demanding, but mainly how that affects us personally and how we struggle with knowing and following. His comment, however, came after we talked about the call to love others in ways that sacrifice our own needs and desires; in ways that stretch us and require us to extend beyond comfort and control.
That way of life is a burden. It is the burden Jesus carried. To love is a burden. It is hard, confusing, demanding - and mysteriously beautiful. It is our highest calling.
With gratitude for those yesterday who reminded me of the breadth and depth of this calling thing. With gratitude that the need for faith and trust was always part of our time.