Joe and I just returned from a weekend volunteering at a youth conference in Ocean City, and my iphone decided to randomly delete half of my contacts and the backup just might take a year and a half, so…
Ocean City! Impact, a Youth For Christ conference for high school folks, was so stinkin fun! Rend Collective led worship, and Jeff Bethke was the keynote speaker (find his stuff here). Joe and I, along with fourteen awesome Horizon friends, volunteered for security staff and working merchandise tables. It was a great time to bond with friends and to serve together.
I had the opportunity to sit in on a group session, and I completely forget the official title and half of the message (that’s what happens when you’re corralling a few hundred teens), but my main capture from the talk was about career vs. calling. And while it was specifically geared towards high schoolers, it spoke a lot of truth into my twenty-something heart. I have a mother whose career and calling are one in the same – to care for people. Meanwhile, my career prospects based on my skills and gifts (problem-solving and educating in the sciences) are fairly distant from my calling (feeding the hungry, advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves). I’ve struggled to make a compromise between my head and my heart on these two things, seeing how wonderful (and lucky!) my mother is at her job and calling. But what I’ve realized, (it’s been a long time coming, anyways), is that my day job doesn’t have to pull every heartstring. It’s okay if my career (the way I pay off student loans) doesn’t match my calling (saving lives).
My entire life, the way I talk and laugh and walk, is a living testament to God’s grace in me. That’s my ministry. My career is where my skills meet the demand of the market. My calling is where my gifts and passion meet the world’s deep need. While they can be one in the same, there’s no specific need for overlap, it’s just an added bonus. What I do from 6:30 to 2:30 doesn’t have to fulfill every passion of mine, rather, it can allow me to spend time and funds on my specific calling.
So that’s all to say: career and calling are not always dependent. And youth conferences rock.
But not as much as Young Life camps.
Windy Gap forever.