Trying to hear the voice of heaven is a lofty ambition, and it almost goes with saying that sensing your calling can be a difficult process. My own story is one of starts, stops, certainty, and murk. There have been times of clarity and times that I have had to take a few steps back. There have been times of reconsideration, and times for apology making.
Over ten years ago, I started a process toward working in ministry. I wasn't sure about much, but I did know that I wanted to live a life that matched my beliefs, and I wanted to do something to help other people. I finished a four-year degree in theology and set out to try and find a job.
But finding a job proved to be a challenge. Most places I went already seemed to have an idea of what they wanted...and I was not it. Other places seemed interested, then seemed to change their minds. I spent a period of several months exploring the world of churches and church culture. Apparently, my look and the sound of who I was did not really seem to match what people wanted.
I decided to go back to school and become a teacher. A pastor once told me that when you found a calling in your life, it would make you emotional. Even bring a tear to your eye. Thinking about my experiences and how I might use them to help students did that for me.
Now, I have spent almost ten years in education. I have continued to build on my learning, and I am currently seeking a doctorate. I have had some of the most rewarding experiences of my life as a classroom teacher. It hasn't always been smooth. There have been times I questioned my abilities and succumbed to insecurities. But it has been worth it.
Why do I spend this time sharing with you? These experiences, I feel, are probably not uncommon. Perhaps you were on a path that got derailed and you're not sure if you should keep trying. Maybe you thought you heard some celestial voice and it turned out to be indigestion.
In any case, we are all in this process together called life. Have patience with yourself, be gracious with yourself and others, and maybe, after all, that's really what we should be doing on earth anyway. Maybe that's the global call we have before we find the smaller places where we fit.