In the book Courage and Calling, Gordon Smith is determined to elaborate his definition of calling. He terms calling not only as the actual verbal manner of capturing someones attention but also as a duty. A duty to God: to know Him, follow Him and adhere to the teachings presented in the Bible. In the same Book, the author goes on to emphasize that calling could have a second definition. A definition suggesting that we have a task in life. This is what many people call a vocation and it has a bearing on our occupations and greater aspects of our lives. This second calling demands for the evaluation of our talents as well as our strengths and flaws. The way we make use of our talents refers to a calling and the best way to answer such a vocation is by fully manifesting and tapping into our greatest passions for the purpose of serving the society. Remember the parable of the talents? God simply communicated that whoever uses his talents for a good purpose deserves reward and whoever misuses or fails to exploit his strengths deserves to be punished by losing his gift. In short, Smith has split the definition of calling into to: Our duty to God and our duty to nature through work because after creation, we were given the mandate to watch over Gods creation. This in itself was the first job given to man (Smith, 2011).
Smith, the author uses a unique way in building the above definition throughout the book. With combinations of Biblical references and other real life examples, the author is able to create a spark in the mind of the reader. He takes a practical approach applicable to anyone by virtue of being human. This serves to reach out to a greater audience and thus preach the gospel across all boards. Starting with our obligation to work as Gods co-creators, the author emphasizes that work is good. He states that God manifests his continuity in creation through our deeds and actions. Whether it is religious work or just a day to day job, our mentality of work should be positive (Smith, 1999). Positive in that we accept work as being good. This is because it represents our service to God and work therefore has its own unique form of secrecy. We are encouraged to create a socially conducive environment for Gods work to thrive since there is no retirement from a vocation. Once we are tasked to do The Lords bidding, then it is a requirement to do so until our time on Earth expires. Smith however goes on to discourage secular work. He defines such as tasks which lead to undermining of the purposes God set for us in our creation. This implies that any work which hampers the spread of Gods word is secular. We are therefore burdened with the task of creating a relationship with God based on conversation through prayer and also a relationship with fellow men. A good relationship with fellow members of the society means that we work towards a common call. Since there is power in unity, then Gods work will be passed in a far much better manner with cohesion and partnership (Daly & Mary, 2006).
Life as a Priest of God is not easy. Making a decision to do something could be the easiest part but maintaining the right path is the hardest aspect. So often do people get saved and are on the right path towards a perfect relationship with God only to backslide. This also applies to priesthood and the best way to be guided through such work is by truly understanding the meaning of calling. This in turn gives courage to make bold decisions and guide us through temptations of worldly desires. Personally, I find the desire to bring change as a helpful idea in the journey to becoming a priest. Such a desire to make a difference is important in defying the norms currently set in the world. This will help in promoting the aspect of sacrifice so as to leave this world a better place. Gordon Smith through this book gives the courage to follow Gods call and with determination towards being a change-maker, I am motivated in living as a priest of God. First of all, I am able to distinguish my calling and identify how to cope with the moral difficulties. Also, I am able to understand that no matter the change in life stages, vocation does not change. Instead, the calling should develop and become stronger (Kobia, 2003). The only variation should be adapting and balancing every aspect of life to suit my journey and answer to my calling. With advancement in age, the way we think and our ability to critically discern certain circumstances tends to advance thus necessitating courage in handling our lives. With the understanding to duty, I feel obliged to undertake every task with the seriousness it deserves whether I stand to gain directly from it or not. I am also capable of distinguishing that there is time for leisure and in the other period prior to that, I am on a mission towards a stable emotional, physical, mental and spiritual life.References
Smith, G. T. (2011). Courage and calling: Embracing your God-given potential. InterVarsity Press.
Smith, G. T. (1999). Courage and calling. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity.
Daly, Mary. Amazon grace: Re-calling the courage to sin big. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Kobia, S. (2003). The courage to hope: The roots for a new vision and the calling of the Church in Africa (No. 102). World Council of Churches.
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