Called to …

It’s interesting. We spend a lot of time and effort considering what we are called to. Am I called to be a pastor? Am I called to be a doctor? Am I called to work in Chicago? Am I called to Africa? And, often, whatever we begin to believe we are called to becomes the thing that consumes most of our time. We will spend 50 hours a week at a job site and additional time commuting to it, thinking about it, and using our blackberries or iPhones answering messages and texts related to it.

Meanwhile, those of us who call ourselves Christians, or followers of Jesus, will say that our priorities are God first, family second, and then our jobs. But our lives will involve at least 50-70 hours a week around our job, 50 hours a week of sleeping, and then we might have a little time after our hobbies, commutes, eating and whatever else we do to spend time talking with, and listening to, our family and God.

Micah 6:8 tells us what God requires of us. In other words, that little verse in the middle of a rarely read minor prophet tells us what should be a focus of our lives. It says we are to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. We busy ourselves with amassing personal fortunes, making sure we have a robust retirement, yet God simply asks that we focus on relationships. We are to see that people are treated justly and that those who are in need receive mercy. He says to remember who we are, His created sons and daughters, and walk humbly with Him. Jesus reminds us that the most important commands are to love Him and love others. Everything God asks of us involves relationships and people, not things and occupations.

So, perhaps we have much of our lives upside down. Those things that consume our time and pull us away from relationship should diminish. Whatever enables and facilitates family and relationship should increase. And, whereas God often says much about how we are to love one another generally, he also specifically tells husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. He tells us over and over to raise up godly children by teaching them the Word. He tells us that those who would be leaders in the Church must be men and women whose children are believers and of good character.

It seems to me we should spend less time worrying about a specific call to any one job or place and much more time ensuring that we are looking after our call to be husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and brothers or sisters. We should make sure that our lives demonstrate a priority toward relationship and working justice throughout our community and world.

I can say without any doubt that I am Bryan Riley, called to be the husband of Tara Riley, and called to be the daddy to Tanner, Keaton and Regan and any other children with which I am blessed. If the other things I spend my time on in some way defeat my ability to fulfill those callings, I should put those things away.

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