Over the past week, I have been reading ‘Know Your Why: Finding and Fulfilling Your Calling In Life’ by Ken Costa. The book is the perfect balance of scripture and words of wisdom. It is described as ‘challenging, inspiring and practical’ and I would recommend reading it this year.
Without revealing too much from the book, here’s a summary of two chapters which stood out to me.
- Called to Courage
‘But what fear bricks up, grace breaks up’
This chapter looks at a fear that can cripple us even when we have our priorities correctly aligned and are wholeheartedly committed to following God’s call – the fear of failure. Ken talks about how we can fight the fear of failure and embrace the calling that God has given us. Often, fear of failure can stop us in our tracks; preventing us from taking risks and not living a life of faith. But it takes courage to step out in faith [particularly when we’ve been hurt in the past]. We have to be willing to take risks, secure in the knowledge that whatever happens our Father in heaven remains faithful.
Ken also includes the well-known parable of talents [see Matthew 25:14 – 30]. In the parable, Jesus describes a man who goes on a journey, entrusting his servants with his wealth and possessions in his absence. To one servant, the master gives five bags of silver, to a second servant he gives two bags of silver, and to a third servant he gives one bag of silver. While the first two servants invested the money, the third servant dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time their master returned and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The master rewarded the servants who were willing to risk failure to grow what they had been given. He said to them “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” [verse 23]. But the one who played it safe [burying his treasure in the ground] received the master’s wrath.
When we take a risk in faith and find our hopes come crashing back down, when we dare to dream that God might do a new thing in our lives, Jesus too, says “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Why? Because we have dreamed, we were willing to see things as they might be rather than as they are, and most importantly, we stepped out in faith despite fear.
- Called to Worship
‘Worship is ultimately the key to our callings’
This chapter looks at the role worship plays in helping us find and follow our calling. Worship is described as something which connects us to Our creator and enables us to hear His voice. It is an essential part of our Christian journey and the place where much of what is hidden from our understanding is unlocked.
Ken emphasises that worship is the place where we receive wisdom and revelation, where our eyes are enlightened to know the hope to which God has called us. It opens our hearts and minds to new possibilities and fresh challenges. It is thus where our callings start, are strengthened, and are sustained. We cannot stay the course of our callings without it. It is both the entry point into a new way of living for God and an exit from the encircling pressures of life around us, which can often draw us away from or dilute our first love of God. Worship is a whole- of- life experience and an attitude of the heart. It is the alignment of our hopes and desires with those God has for us. The more aligned our wills are with his will, the more effective our lives become.