One of the best thoughts I know of with regard to our calling from God is a small quote written by author Frederick Beuchner in his book Wishful Thinking:
“The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Although this idea is rich enough to merit a thorough discussion over a Jamba Juice, I’d like to attempt to make a couple of simple observations:
God does not normally call us to something for which the world has no need/hunger.
What God calls us to will give us deep gladness. Perhaps not always at first, but eventually we will experience a deep gladness.
The world will always have more deep hungers than I will have deep gladnesses. Therefore, when searching for my calling, I should start with what brings me the most gladness.
So many times in my years as a pastor, I would talk with someone who would see an enormous need and feel they were called to do something about that need. I would always ask them: “Why do you think God is calling YOU to meet that need?”
After all, there are a seemingly endless number of needs in the world. You are not called to meet anywhere near a significant number of them. Neither am I. Our calling uniquely lies in what makes us unique. Our deep gladness is much more rare than one of the world’s needs. Needs are over-abundant, but what gives us gladness isn’t.
What truly gives you gladness? What brings light into the darkness around you? What do you finish doing only to feel as if your Father in Heaven is smiling down on you? What do you feel most gifted and equipped to do through the power of the Holy Spirit?
If our calling is truly found at the intersection of our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger, then I suggest we spend most of our time searching for what gives us deep gladness because there are simply too many hungers to sort through.