by Rhonda Sittig
November 9, 2022
I’ve always been a little wary of the exalted lists of “Spiritual Gifts” we hear about at church. I’ve even taken those spiritual gift tests and come up dry. I see those people out there—the preachers, the evangelists, the prophets. Big gifts, but that’s not me. I have the feeling my “Gift” is inviting people over for cake or a pot of soup. Does that count?
And as for spiritual gifts, I prefer to call it a “Calling.” A call on my life by God to use what He’s given me. We all have past experiences (whether we’re 14 or 84) and skills we’ve picked up, pain we’ve lived through, things that give us joy. So let’s consider those things and sit and listen—really listen—to God’s calling on our lives. He has jobs for us to do if we just consider what He’s given us in life and hear His call to use those things.
I just read Shauna Niequist’s newest book, I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet. She’s written several books filled with stories of her life and she also loves to gather people round for meals together. She says her Calling is “chatting and snacking!”
And I’ve seen God’s call on the lives of people around me. Jim, who often transports people to doctor’s appointments, helps them through difficult days. Friends from church are caring for a newly immigrated Afghan family, supplying money and transportation to their favorite grocery store. My brother Mark has rounded up a trunk load of guitars and shows up at an inner-city community center once a week to give guitar lessons. Alisa, who uses her soccer skills to take on a group of small players and coach them in the basics. During covid, I met with a cute first grade neighborhood friend to tutor her during those crazy school days. All Callings from God.
Back when we were newly married, my Larry had a definite Call from God to minister overseas. And honestly, I was just hoping we could settle back in Orange County near my family and friends. But it was a revelation to me. Once we arrived in Spain, my Calling came. It came when I met dear church friends Jose Maria and Carmen, my sweet neighbor Pepi, the lady across the street with the tiny grocery shop, Angustias. Those people were my calling. And I found out that if I would obey and go, God would provide the Calling I needed.
And can I say one more thing? All Believers have a Calling in common. To love God with all our hearts and souls and minds. And to truly love and care for other people. That’s where we can start. That’s where God can hand us our specific calling, whether as consuming as writing a scholarly theological tome or as simple as sharing a batch of muffins with a neighbor. We only have to listen to God as he calls us, be willing to go out there and love like He loves. It’s our Calling.
Rhonda finds ministry in the ordinary moments of life and everywhere she is, she nurtures community . . . often over baked goods.