What If I’m Called to a Particular Job, but I Don’t Fit the Mold?

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What if I feel as if I’m wired for a certain field of work or a particular job, but I’m just not like others who do that work?

As we grow up and learn to live into our own skin, we begin not only to grow accustomed to the person God has created us to be, but to flourish. I think this is exactly what Jesus meant when he gave us his life’s mission statement in John 10:10: “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (NLT).

The Son of God explicitly told us that he came to earth for the very purpose of making us (and everything around us) become everything we were intended to be. In Jesus, the “not yet” breaks into the “now” as we share in his resurrection and life abundant. In him, we become more alive and more ourselves as Jesus sends the Spirit to act as a living catalyst to unleash the potential of the humanity he created.

Growing up, I distinctly remember feeling a nudge toward some sort of vocational ministry. However, the biggest sticking point was that I didn’t see myself fitting into the role of “pastor” as I knew it. The immaturity of my faith still thought within tightly confined boxes and definitions of jobs and callings. I only knew what I had already seen and therefore couldn’t imagine myself being truly me and being a pastor at the same time.

Maybe this is why at Pentecost the first thing people received with the gift of the Holy Spirit were enlivened imaginations:

“‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams’” (Acts 2:17).

In other words, you don’t have to do this life like anyone else. In fact, you’d better not! God’s creativity and uniqueness in designing your goals, passions, and story will work only within the uniqueness of who you are. After all, God has 7.5 billion beautiful image-bearers on this planet, but God made only one you. So, may God capture your imagination—and then set it on fire.

About the Author

Aaron Baart lives in Sioux Center, Iowa, with his family of seven. He serves as the dean of chapel at Dordt University and is the co-founder and president of One Body One Hope, a church-planting and community development ministry in Liberia. He and his family attend First Reformed Church in Sioux Center. He co-authored Vivid: Deepening Your Colors with Syd Hielema.

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Comments

Thanks, Aaron, for characterizing the uniqueness of every individual.  Of course such uniqueness doesn’t qualify us for every vocation or aspiration.  If I have aspirations to be a minister within a particular church denomination, then I will likely be required to fulfill the basic requirements of such denomination for pastoral ministry.  Aspiring to be a medical doctor, or lawyer, or chemist or electrician and a host of professions or trades requires a certain expertise, as well as personality dispositions to qualify.  Many children dream of being the president or prime minister of their country, but dreaming or aspiring or being unique won’t get them there.  But yes, Aaron, we are all unique and gifted differently.  For that we can be thankful, at least for the most part.

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