“Follow on, and thou shalt never lose track of that light.” Edward B. Pusey, Joy and Strength
I sort of remember the first time I told myself that painting and writing are “my calling”. Several years later, I still question the label that leads to an assessment of whether my work represents such a strong word.
Once I called it my “treasure”, felt that was better. A “gift” may be even easier to accept as the description of what’s more than hobby but less than calling.
“Allow God to cultivate your calling.” Hosanna Wong
I heard these words while walking, having told myself to take a break from podcasts, that I once again had way too many voices in my ear telling me how to finally be at peace with me.
I am prone to quitting a whole thing rather than being patiently selective, giving up rather than testing the waters.
Not finishing things I begin for fear of failure.
The shape of a bird waits on a wood panel. Vibrant colors of green, azure, a little coral brushed boldly to complete the suggested work are only thoughts. Although I’ve painted these before, what if I can’t again?
What if I’ve forgotten how to paint and write?
That would mean what you thought was your calling was wrong all along.
I consider the words of Hosanna Wong again this morning. Like a middle school diagram sentence, I broke apart the words.
Allow – give someone permission to do something Cultivate – to develop a quality or skill Calling – a strong urge towards a particular way of life
Allow God to cultivate your calling.
There is relief here, this freedom from effort, comparison, numbers of followers, readers, collectors and validators of my work…
Of whether it is or ever was “my calling”.
Because, I’m closer now to understanding
my calling is the calling of every single one of us, to let God lead, show us the way, place us in the places we are needed by others, not the esteemed places of what fulfills our needs
recognition, praise or even kind words.
The pressure is off.
I’ll adjust to this new understanding of calling. It may take some time. I may still fear rejection and thus, hesitate in offering my words and paintings.
Or I may settle in, paint and write because I love it and love the way God made me to love doing it.
Of the seven paintings inspired by Psalm 23, a Bible close by as I painted and breaks in between colors to comfort myself in reading, only one has sold.
A tiny one, “All I Need” will be shipped today.
I allowed my Bible to fall open in my lap just now. The margin sketch reminding of words from another day.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
There’s so much I don’t know, don’t fully understand about God’s ways, His love for me, the places He has for me, my words and art to go.
I will follow. I will stay close beside Him. I will find my calling in the listening to His gentle, guiding voice.
I have everything I need.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Psalm 23:1 ESV
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23:2-6 ESV
I am learning as I continue and believe.
Such a better calling, to just continue.
Continue and believe.