The Call to Go Deeper
Something happened to me last week. In the course of a poetry and prayer weekend, as I led people in practices of deep listening, and preached about Jesus calling the disciples, I myself heard a call. It wasn’t as bold as Jesus’ invitation to the disciples to leave their nets; it wasn’t as clear as guidance into a new career. But it was a call, a call to follow, a call that echoes and haunts me as I listen to what it means. It was a voice saying, “I am here. Come be with me.” I could easily conclude it’s a call to move, though I won’t, or merely a call to lead more workshops, though I will, or even to quit the ministry and do poetry full time (now there’s a way to make more money). The call is more inward.
Jesus’ call isn’t usually a career path. But it is a vocation, a vocalization, a spoken invitation, a voice asking you to come closer. You don’t have to go off to Africa and become a missionary, though you might. It’s seldom a call to leave the place you are. No, it’s a call to go deeper. Christ calls you deeper into what you are here to do. Deeper into the present moment, deeper into relationships, deeper into the life you are already living. Deeper into the truth that is already before you. Deeper into the Presence that is already within you. It is most often not a call to go elsewhere but a call to be otherwise, to become new, to allow yourself to be transformed.
Like the fishermen and tax collectors I have made a comfortable place for myself in my life. Now Jesus calls me to let go of that familiar place and move deeper, to go on an unknown adventure on an untraveled road right where I am. It may lead me to other changes, but it will certainly lead me to a new awareness, a new way of being, a new sense of my calling, which is Christ calling to me–and so a clearer sense that I am not on my own; I am called; I am led.
Listen for that call. It’s quiet. But it will not leave you or forsake you. It comes over and over. The Beloved wants you near, while traveling that road deep into your own life; and you must follow.