Robert Benson in The Echo Within reveals three steps to take to fulfill God’s calling in your life:
1. Learn from others and practice your craft each day
2. Learn your own voice
3. Use your gifts as if you were dying
Benson challenges us that no matter how much talent we possess; we still need to surround ourselves with mentors who give us direction so we can practice our gifts each day. In learning our own voice, we must be careful to not just parrot what our parents or teachers do. We must develop our own style, asking God how we are to uniquely use our gifts for His glory.
In regards to her third point, Benson quotes Annie Dillard (“Write Till You Drop”) on how she views her writing: “Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case… What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?”
How do these lessons apply to us?
Perhaps you have been called to raise children.
1. Seek others who are good parents and heed their wise counsel. Practice being a good parent EVERY DAY.
2. Develop your own voice. Don't be the mother that your mother was. Develop your own style based upon what God is asking you to do.
3. Ask yourself: Would my parenting be different if I only had 3 months to live? Or what if your child had only a short time left? Avoid the trivialities in everyday life and concentrate on the important.
What is your purpose in life? Is it to be a good parent, a good wife, a writer, perhaps a country singer? The lessons are the same: Learn your craft from others, develop your own voice, and practice it every day as if you were dying.
I am called to write and share my photographs through this blog and book. I am learning my craft by hanging around with local authors and artists, learning as an apprentice does. I am also trying to develop my voice. I can’t write like Michael Hyatt, Don Miller, or Randy Elrod, writers and artists who I admire. My unique articulation and tone are important in my writing and photography; I can't just try to duplicate their work.
Most of all, I am working on not being trivial. To save you, my readers and my friends, the wasted time and effort from reading something that doesn’t have much meaning, or viewing a photo that only meets my self-imposed deadline. I’m trying to edit away the triviality and leave only God’s content, shaving away the embellishments that I always want to add.
I pray that you too will find your purpose in life and then live it to the fullest, not dwelling in trivialities, but alive in the importance of eternal life.