Earlier this week I received an updated life plan from a friend which he updates on a periodic basis. It is his best read on what God is calling him to do with his life based on his passion and gifting. Once a month on his personal retreat day he will review that plan knowing that while the specifics of where he might work or the position he might have are unknowns, that the major roles he desires to play are roles that he believes were made for him.
As we mature we come to realize that there are roles in life that we do not want to play and are not gifted for. Knowing what we don’t want to do narrows the field. The next area of helpful clarity is understanding the roles that we believe God created us for and it comes from a deep understanding of our strengths, our God given passions and the formative streams that make up our life story.
This is what I know about myself:
I love to write and I believe God desires that it be a major part of what I do
I am a third culture kid to the core who needs international involvement
I am passionate about the spread of the church globally
I love to lead and I need an organization to lead
I care deeply about intentional living
I love to develop new leaders at a high level
Consider taking a moment and making the short list of what you know about yourself. My own current role would be seen as convergence between what I know about myself and the role I play. Along my career path I had pieces of these but it was not until I was in my late forties that I had all of them. Of course, I did not know myself as well in the earlier years either as self knowledge takes time and experimentation along the way. The good thing is that it is often in our fifties and sixties that we have the most significant influence and a good part of that is being clear about what God has called us to do.
Assuming you took some moments to make the short list, how much convergence is there between what you know about yourself and God’s call on your life and where you are in your current role. My friend who has a life plan has come to the conclusion that he must change roles – and quickly – because he is not in a place of convergence – his sweet spot – and the lack of convergence is causing him significant unhappiness. He is not in a place where he can significantly play to his strengths.
Knowing what God has called us to do is a very freeing thing. That clarity allows us to say no to all kinds of opportunities and the freedom to focus in on those opportunities that best fit us and God’s macro call on our lives. The specifics may change but the macro themes should become clearer and more focused as we move into our fifties and sixties.