It’s a Wonderful Lifeis a classic movie, produced in 1946, starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. George, a man who continually gave up his dreams to support others, begins to feel that he has been a total failure, one who has let down everybody around him. When George faces imminent suicide on Christmas Eve, his guardian angel, Clarence, intervenes and shows George how he has touched the lives of so many and how different life would have been had he not lived. George realizes that he had made a difference and his life did have purpose and meaning.

What is your destiny? What is your call? How does your life make a difference?

The quest for ones sense of calling will inevitably lead to a period of restlessness. Those who are restless about the issues in life, wrestle with questions of calling and purpose. I have had people in their 20s and people in their 80s say to me, How do I discern Gods call? Where am I to serve?Answering ones call is part of the quest for authenticity.

Reflective people realize that the life cycle includes times of restlessness that can lead to new times of clarification and purpose. The process of moving from restlessness to clarity is called discernment. Biblically, this is called wisdom, and wisdom is a gift that God promises to give to those who seek it. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.(James 1: 5, NRSV) The deep prayer in the Word during periods of restlessness moves one to the core of ones existence, opening deeper understanding, as the Spirit gives clarity to ones call.

Looking at the lives of Gods people throughout time, gives us a sense of this concept of calling. Let me present three: Queen Esther, Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Each one models for us how calling comes out of restlessness.

Queen Esther was in a dilemma: her husband, the King, planned to annihilate all of the Jews in his kingdom because they were different from his other subjects. Esther, as a Jew, is confronted with the fact that as a Queen she might speak up on behalf of her people. Her uncle, Mordecai, sent a message to her, “‘Do not think that in the kings palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your fathers family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.(Esther 4: 13-14) Esther discerns her call, and, putting herself in great danger, she speaks on behalf of her people and they are saved. Mordecai nailed it when he told her that she had been prepared for such a time as this.

Martin Luther was restless, knowing that reforms were needed in the Church of his time. He was tormented with his own sinfulness and tormented because of the teachings of the Church. While reading Pauls letter to the Romans, he discovered the Gospel. He was called forth to proclaim the truth given him in the Word, For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, The one who is righteous will live by faith.(Romans 1:17) Luther

was compelled to answer Gods call and left his ordinary life to step forward at such a time as this.At the Diet of Worms, he boldly declared to the powers of the day, risking his own life, that reforms in the Church were necessary, mandated by Scripture. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was restless with the rise of Adolph Hitler and the National Socialists in Germany. He recognized that this movement was attacking his family, his friends and the Confessional faith of the Church. He could have left the country and been safe. In fact, he did leave and go to the United States, but he felt compelled to return and to be with the German people. In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.Bonhoeffer joined the resistance against Hitler and was arrested. Just two weeks before soldiers liberated the Flossenburg concentration camp where he was https://www.viagrasansordonnancefr.com/viagra-naturel/ held prisoner, Bonhoeffer was executed by hanging on April 9, 1945 at the age of 39.

Esther, Martin and Dietrich could have continued to live ordinary lives, but God called them to acts of extraordinary action that transformed the world in which they lived. Each of them was prepared by God for a time such as this.

We dont all experience a call quite as dramatic as these, but each of us, as a baptized child of God, is called to serve and witness in ways that are dramatically different than the rest of the world. The lives of Gods people give testimony to this sense of calling and vocation. In Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC, Frederick Buechner writes, The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the worlds deep hunger meet.We are not always aware when this happens, but, when it does, we are living our calling.

Martin Luther reminds us that our calling is not about heroism or achievement, but about the attitude we bring to our life lived in Christ. In The Estate of Marriage(1522),

he applies this concept in a very profound manner. Luther writes, God with all his angels and creatures is smiling not because the father (or mother) is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith.As we discern our calling, let us always frame it as what we do in Christian faith.It will transform our lives and it will transform the world.


1. In the past, how has God used you and your gifts?

2. What type of restlessness are you experiencing at this time in your life?

3. How is your prayer life being shaped by the restlessness in your soul?

4. How are you experiencing discernment as you seek Gods direction?

5. What might God be calling you to be and to do for such a time as this?

6. Where does your deep gladnessmeet the worlds deep hunger?


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