A common thread has been running through my reading these past few months. Interestingly enough, it is in tandem with the path that I am taking that is yet to be explored and is just opening up. Not every book I've been reading has been of my selection so it is rather curious that they are converging on the road less traveled. Last night I returned my attention to reading the book, Find Your Strongest Life, by Marcus Buckingham, a read my Book Dinner group is working through, and found that once again another author is speaking to the issue of calling although in a completely different way and without using the word for it is primarily a secular work. The author suggests that when we are doing what we were created to do, working in our strongest areas, we will be energized instead of depleted.
By looking at ourselves objectively and identifying those things on the "+" column which are those things which bring us peace and joy, but identifying on the "-" side, those things which drain us and keep us feeling like we're working so hard all the time, we can slowly determine what it is that we really should be doing. Even though we may be functioning especially well in other areas in areas of employment, they may fall short. Personally, I can understand this because I am living the personal struggle of being good at my craft in teaching yet desiring another direction that would free up my time to contemplate and write and enjoy life a bit more than I am now. I suppose the difficulty rests in having the need to support oneself.
I mentioned in a facebook post awhile back that Os Guiness wrote a book that talks about "Calling". He said we all have a calling and we all have a purpose for which we were created. We will not be contented nor fulfilled until we are right where we should be in God's beautiful purpose for our life. That is also the premise in The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren which has reached many people with the simple truth of the meaning of life, more specifically, the meaning and purpose of every individual life. The minister of my church flock often says it this way, we should be in the center of God's big will for us.
It is hard to always know these things or to even take personal inventory of our life for we do much to please others and to fulfill commitments and obligations. Buckingham encourages people to keep a notepad handy and throughout the week write down each activity which makes you feel strong/happy when you are doing it and conversely, write down each thing that you do that seems tedious or draining (even if you're great at doing it). In this way you can start opening up to expanding on the things that are your personal bent and maybe even your destiny. As a person of faith, I believe that in it all there is a will of God that is shaping and helping us become whom we are meant to be.