Saturday, December 30, 2023

Feeling God's Pleasure

Chariots of Fire is one of my favorite movies. And my favorite scene in the movie is when Eric Liddell tells his sister, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure." 

With these words he put his finger on a mysterious truth. When you are doing what God has called and gifted you to do, you feel his pleasure. Once you are called to teach or run or parent or whatever, you are never the same after this. God has spoken, and you sense "This is what I was made for."

Most of us know we are called to something. I've known Greek students who had this genuine sense of call. I see them and I think, "You seem so natural when you study. You glow when you're taking an exam. You are at your best when reciting out loud in class." When such students are in alignment with their calling, they soar. Things change in the hands of a called person. There's a mysterious passion within us that bubbles up when we are centered in our calling. Eric Liddell knew that. 

My call -- to be a teacher -- goes back to my college days. It was not just a call to some form of paid ministry. There was something deeper going on. I felt that I was aligning my life with a higher purpose than just the routines of life. If you, dear reader, are a 20- or 30-Something, where should you begin? Begin here: "What do I hear God telling me about the direction of my life?" Every called person has this sense that God is speaking, leading, calling. It's been 47 years since God revealed to me what my calling was, and there has never been a time when I've doubted it. Even today, though partly retired, I feel challenged to keep helping people to grow in their Christlikeness, their understanding of Scripture, and their discernment of their own calling. 

One final thought. A few called people with Jesus as the center may well be the most important testimony we can give to a lost and dying world. Dare we forget this?