Your Divine Calling is More Than a Job

October 1, 2009

This is a clear, concise, and compelling article that describes what God’s personal calling for each of our lives is. Pamela Tuntuni Mukerji is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and a Masters candidate in International Relations and International Economics at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. Posted with permission. Add a comment below with your feedback.

Divine Calling by Pamela Tuntuni Mukerji

Throughout the course of my relatively new professional and personal life, I’ve had the opportunity to develop young men and women towards God’s calling for their lives. My work started out developing small children and teenagers, and has slowly stretched to shaping the lives of graduate students and even a rare few adults. As I’ve observed the journey of finding and choosing a vocation in the lives of others, and have experienced it in my own life, several factors come into play: What am I good at? What do I enjoy? What can I do that others will pay me for? What are competitive and promising industries in the next generation? Does God particularly care if I am a doctor, nurse, writer, or clerk, or do I have a specific divine calling and destiny?

Before even attempting an answer to these questions, we should be deeply encouraged that God has a destiny for all of us. First and foremost, our calling is to God alone – that we would love God with all of our hearts, all of our souls, all of our minds, and all our strength. But secondly, we are to use our unique strengths and experiences to love our neighbor – it is through the unique tapestry of our past, the poised opportunity of the present, and the abundant hope of the future that God infuses our lives with meaning – we live and love to give to others. As such, as young people (or even older people) select a vocation – not merely a job, but a calling – we must ask – what am I meant for? What is the song in my heart?

When God judges our earthly lives, we will not be asked why we weren’t successful in the way someone else was, with the other person’s strengths and struggles. Rather, God will ask us whether we were faithful to the life we were given. The call is the same to the gifted and to the handicapped, to rich and poor alike – did we make the most of the life we were given? This doesn’t mean we are free to completely ignore practical concerns, but rather invites us to risk following the path that God has intended for each of us, the song that cries out from our hearts.

So many Indian (and other Asian) families long for the financial security of their children, and rightly so. But Laxmi is not the supreme god; only the Creator is Supreme. Most people see a practical career – the stable job, the steady income, the degree from the prestigious university – as tickets to the good life. But, if in gaining these we have sacrificed the call in our own hearts, the places where our imaginations dream, have we not died to our lives in a way that will later leave us bankrupt? Have we not robbed society of the greatest gift we can give it, which is our true selves?

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if some of the giants of our Indian heritage chose the easy, more socially popular route. Perhaps Rabindranath Tagore’s worried mother once chastised him, “Rabi, please stop with the poetry and come inside the house. No girl will marry you if you don’t have a stable job.” Or, Satyajit Ray’s grandfather, saying, “Babu, this film pursuit is like fool wallowing in folly. Why don’t you follow your cousins and go work for the bank?” Or, better yet, “Mohandas, why are you associating with the commoners? Please start a formal law practice right away and stop squandering your time with the poor.”

We are God’s workmanship, created to do good works that God prepared for us ahead of time. As we grow in our knowledge of the Creator, we will learn what we are truly made for. This is part of what it means to work out godliness in our lives, for it is God who works in us to will and to act according to holy, divine purposes. As we detect God’s plans for our lives and learn to follow God’s ways in all we do, whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

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