“Imagine wanting to be a gardener or a carpenter in a family that is disdainful of making a living by manual labor…Imagine you’re a woman who feels called to be a minster in a religious community that doesn’t believe God calls women to be ministers. Naturally, people are going to treat you like you’re blowing your nose on their prayer flags, and spitting in their holy water. Naturally, you’re going to think twice about following that call.” (Gregg Levoy, "Callings").
I I appreciate this quote because not only does it ring true in some ways to my own experience of saying 'yes' to the call to be the lead pastor of a church for a season, but because it reminds me of how there will always be resistence to stepping outside of the norm, the expected, what others think we should do, what we ourselves have been conditioned to think about ourselves and our calls.
The resistance, which can either come from within or without, sounds like this:
I'm not smart enough, rich enough or good enough
I'm too tall, too fat, too skinny, not pretty enough or handsome enough
I'm too old or too young
It (whatever the call might be) is too hard
I'm not "allowed" to do that (that might be true, but often its not)
If only I had more money, more resources, better connections
My friends and family won't understand
The risks are too great
And on the list goes of all of the ways we believe we're inadequate, not enough or the cost too high.
Yet, the resistance can be the clue that we're on to something important, something that we are meant to do, a call that is uniquely ours to follow.
I can't think of too many examples of people who stepped out to do significant things in the world that didn't experience a great deal of resistance. We just don't tend to think about that part of it. And of course, we want the big calling without the big price tag. But it doesn't work that way in real life.
I write this to remind myself to not take the easy route, to settle for the lesser calls, but to pay attention to the resistance and remain open to whatever it might be that God would ask me to do.