There is much debate and discussion around The Call. Mysterious, spiritual, dreamy. Everyone else’s Call story is better. The Call is supposed to come in a flash and be so powerful that it under girds every decision and emotion and experience for the rest of your life, no questions asked, no doubts ever encountered.
It can be quite daunting to determine whether or not you have received this Call. Here is your foolproof guide. You will never doubt again (channeling my inner Princess Bride here).
Disobey. If you think you hear God telling you to do something, do the opposite. If things go just fine, you heard wrong. If you are swallowed by a gigantic fish, you heard right. Once you are vomited up on shore, obey. Grumblingly but with certainty. (see Jonah 1-4)
Skin a sheep. Better yet, skin two. The first night put the skin on the ground. Don’t bother explaining anything to the neighbors until they complain of the stench and the feral cats swarming. If the skin is wet in the morning but the ground dry, you’ve been called. Still you doubt? Do it again. This time if all around, the ground is wet but the skin is dry, you’ve been called. To pacify the neighbor, considering delivering a feast of roasted meat and rice cooked in the water wrung out from the damp skin yesterday. (Judges 6:36-40)
Listen to your as*, ahem, your donkey. Shall we say car? In any case, if you are going in a certain direction and your mode of transportation stops abruptly and refuses to go forward, even if you whip it, pay attention. If said mode of transportation begins to speak to you, again, pay attention. Respond accordingly. This is the call. (Numbers 22:21-41)
Hide among the suitcases. You’re at the airport, bags are packed, passports and visas at the ready, goodbyes have been said. The family is ready to go. But you still aren’t quite positive God is telling you to go. Quick. Hide. Crawl inside one of those black Action Packers, don’t worry about the things inside, the books and Legos. Dump them out. Or, simply lay among the duffel bags and pray no one notices. If someone comes and finds you there and shouts to your family and the airline employees, “Do you see the one God has chosen?” Then, yes indeed, you have been called and can move forward with confidence. (1 Samuel 10:20-24)
Ask for clarification. Then throw a stick on the ground. If it turns into a snake, called. Pick up the snake. If it doesn’t bite you and if it turns back into a stick, called. Put your hand inside your shirt. If it is diseased when you pull it out, called. Put it back inside. If it is not diseased when you pull it out, called. If the snake bites you or if your arm remains diseased, go to the hospital. (Exodus 4:1-17)
Dreams, burns, and discouragement. If you have a dream in which an angel burns your lips with coal and you hear discouraging words along the lines of, “Go. Talk to people. They won’t understand you. They won’t accept your message. They will have hard hearts, dull ears, and closed eyes and it will be like this for years and years and years. But yeah, go anyway,” consider this your call. Enjoy. (Isaiah 6)
(Or, you could pray. Seek wise counsel. Consider your skills, personality, interests, passions. Look at the world and consider needs. Read the Word. Take a risk. Be a little uncertain. Be convinced of the sovereignty of God. But who has time for all that?!)
Thoughts on deciphering this mysterious Call thing?