These clichés sum up the wide vista from which many people think about their future. My concern here is how do we discern calling in this context?

When asking God about their calling, most people would ask their questions in this order:

  1. What should I do with my life? Career?
  2. Who should I do it with? People groups, friends, romance?
  3. How will I do it? What can I imagine being possible?
  4. Where shall I do it? Geographical location, please?

I suggest that we’ve got things a little mixed up. Throughout the Bible, God works with individuals, groups and churches in physical locations. He calls people to specific cities. He tasks them to build the local church there. He encourages his people to seek the good of that city.

It isn’t that the other questions in that list are bad, it’s just that we give them too much air time. How about starting with asking God where He wants us to put down roots. Then asking who we should aim to build community with in that area. Then ask Him to provide a way of life there – a career. And finish by praying: “God, I don’t know how this will happen but I trust you, so that’s enough for me.”

Let’s not be limited by our own imagination – we live by faith not by sight.

It was 11 years ago that my wife and I settled in York. We weren’t married at that point. She worked for Terry’s chocolate factory and I worked for a gas fire company. Those jobs weren’t our calling in life, but we were called to York, so we got jobs there. We’ve done a few things along the way to discovering this truth: calling is who you are becoming, not what you are doing.

Change takes time. If we want to see cultural change, we need to commit to a place for the long-term.


This post is part of our Nomad series. Are we a generation of wanderers? Watch the new video from Ethos here and have your say. 

Written by Luke Smith

Luke Smith works for Fusion helping churches connect to students. He lives in York with his wife Hannah and their two boys Morgan and Aaron. They are part of G2 York church. Apart from Jesus, Luke’s main interests are “pie-day Fridays” and “cheese-day Tuesdays”.

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