Have you ever felt called to do something that you’ve never done? Somehow you know in the stillness of your heart it’s the right thing to do, but have no idea where to start?
I think it happens all the time. I also think that it results in so much confusion that many dismiss the call or even quit before reaching the starting line.
When my dad retired, he and my mom began spending their winters in Florida. Over time, the stay in Florida got longer, so they decided to become Florida residents.
They had an easy transition to the new state, new home, new everything really. They were full of life and loved to socialize, so it didn’t take long before they had a wide circle of friends.
One of the activities my dad got involved in, much to my surprise, was Habitat for Humanity. A new friend of his worked with the charity, building houses for underprivileged families. My dad loved that idea.
Diving right in, he started up on the roofs, pounding nails into roofing shingles in the Florida sun. It couldn’t have been very comfortable or very stimulating work, but he really enjoyed it. When he hit his 70’s, the crew boss invited him to come down from the roof and never return. My dad saw the wisdom in that, so it was goodbye to roofs, and hello to drywall. He didn’t care, he just wanted to be a part of something good.
I mentioned that I was surprised. It’s not that I doubted his desire, or the worthiness of the charity. I just thought it was an odd choice. He never was the “handyman type.” He told me once that his dad (who could fix anything) didn’t want children around when he made repairs, so he never learned how to work with plumbing, electricity, or redecorating.
So I asked him why he thought he was able to help with constructing a house, because It sure didn’t sound like a perfect match of skill and purpose to me.
Let me tell you, his answer was priceless. “You can do anything if a professional shows you how.”
I love that. It’s such a great mantra for anyone who doubts their call in life.
His reasoning was so clear, simple and true. Never laid a roof? Have a roofer show you, and you’re on your way. Never hung drywall? Take the time to show up, listen and practice. You’ll get it done.
You may have heard that God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. That means you don’t have to begin your new adventure unprepared and alone. Instead, like my dad, seek out others with experience in the field. Take classes, read books, find out how the professionals did it.
My dad never thought he’d be a tradesman. He just wanted to do his best. Isn’t that all that we can hope for too?
The key is to show up. Listen. Practice. With a little help, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll accomplish.
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Photo by Ray Hennessy, Lance Asper, Janko Ferlic