Gathered around circular tables at a writer’s conference,  several attendees share their calling. They know they are called to write, speak, lead, or perhaps all three.  There is no hesitation or wavering in their proclamations. Their certainty rattled me and opened my doubting floodgates, then and now.  I continue battling my calling uncertainty in this new season of my life.

What is my calling? How can anyone be so sure?  Why do others see their calling so clearly and I see only fog?

Is writing my calling? I’m not sure. Is knowing my calling the same as knowing God’s will for my life? Probably. But to me, a calling elicits a more personal confirmation. I envision receiving my calling directly from God on His holy cell phone.  Yes, please.

I believe God can and does reveal His calling on our lives but the ‘how and when’ keeps many guessing and waiting.  However, I am realizing more and more, while I am waiting, I need to be busy. I can sit around and fret while eating leftover Christmas cookies or I can move some dirt.

The movie, The Martian, starring Matt Damon is a 2015 sci-fi movie highlighting human strength and the will to survive. During a mission to Mars, Damon is presumed dead and left behind. But he is still alive. Against all odds, he must find a way to contact Earth in the hope that scientists can devise a rescue plan to bring him home.

While he is waiting for a rescue plan, he must attempt to stay alive. Damon must do something, anything. He needs to get busy so he can physically stay alive and also survive mentally. So he moves dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. He shovels dirt into bins and moves them inside in an attempt to grow potatoes on Mars, a planet where nothing grows. He moves dirt while waiting to be rescued.

So, 6 days into 2017,  I am picking up my shovel and moving dirt.  I accomplish my first shovel full by submitting an article to a Christian magazine. Will anything happen? I don’t know. Will my calling be affirmed or denied ? I don’t know. But it felt good to move some dirt, to do something within my control.

Moving dirt is an action step of faith. Damon doesn’t know if his experiment will work but he gives it his best shot. I don’t know if the editor will accept or reject my article, but I gave it my best shot. It felt good to flex my faith muscles which have fallen flabby recently.

Hebrews 11 highlights great dirt movers. Noah started moving dirt when no rain was in sight. Abraham moved dirt in faith as a nomad while waiting for a promised land.  They picked up their shovels and began moving dirt without all the answers and most times, without seeing the end result.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. Hebrews 11:13 NIV

While awaiting my rescue call, I will continue to move dirt.  If you can grow potatoes on Mars, anything is possible.

Happy New Year!