by Will Rogers
If you are reading this blog, you probably have some kind of dream of being involved in Christian health ministries. Today, I want to encourage the work of the believer who doesn’t just aim to “someday” be a missionary but live out your calling in healthcare and missions every day of your life. In this post, I want to give you some encouragement and some practical tips for living out your calling. And, I hope to show you how you can live out your calling right now. As in, today! You don’t have to wait to live out your calling.
• I encourage you toward the continual pursuit of a lifestyle of missional living. Missional life isn’t something we wait to do “one day”. No, the Great Commission tells us to “Go” and we understand this means you live your calling “as you are going.”
• I encourage you to, every day, take another intentional next step toward your own mission-focused life. Is that serving at your church? Is that networking and connecting with someone in your field? Is that the next step in education or training? Do it! Take that next baby step.
• I encourage you to remember: God only gives us this one chance at life here on earth. We cannot waste it away on self-serving pleasures or the material goods that the media tells us we need. A life that stewards what God gives well is one that sacrifices, loves, and lives in extreme obedience. This kind of life doesn’t just live and eventually die, this kind of life makes a difference. We need to use this short time that God gives, with the abilities and resources we’ve been given to make a difference.
• I encourage you to understand that God’s will for your life is not a mystery or a puzzle that we have to figure out. His will for your life is to glorify him in all that you do, whatever profession you choose, hobbies you participate in, the spouse you commit to, or the place you live. All of those things become a perimeter to the central force that underlies it all: to glorify him.
• I encourage you to know the will of God. Often, you might fixate on "What is God's will for my life?" Instead, you need to look at HOW God wants you to live. It’s vital that you know not just where you fit or how you can “find yourself.” No, you are called to a higher standard. You are called to align your will with God’s will. This takes knowing God through His Word. You must spend time knowing God so we can know what His will is—and then do it.
I hope these few encouragements will help you press on in your calling to God. I also want to be sure you’re armed with a few practical ideas for how to live your calling out right now. I know, many times, it can feel like you have to wait to live out your calling. But, you don’t have to wait.
Idea #1: Find a faith-based clinic where you can serve as needed. If you are still a student, offer to pray with patients at set times during the week.
Idea #2: Go on a short-term trip to learn from indigenous workers and long-term servants.
Idea #3: Join a local chapter in your specialty. For example, connect with Christian Medical Dental Association in order to find opportunities to serve and a community of people with similar passions and interests.
One last reminder when it comes to what you can do right now to live out your calling. There are also very simple things you can do like caring for your neighbor, getting involved with your local church, school, or neighborhood groups. Doing these things now will allow you to love people in concrete ways, right where you are And, you’ll learn how you’re gifted and can best serve God through it all.
Here’s what’s most important in all of this: I’ve heard it called serving with HEART. No matter what you do in your field of service, do it with heart:
Hospitality: Treat those you care for like they are visiting your house. Remember, part of your calling is loving people. This means you work to make every person comfortable and every space welcoming.
Empathy is vital in serving people. Take your time to get to know the person and who they are. You are called by God to empathize with everyone you come into contact with. People around you will know you are a believer by how you listen and care for them.
Attitude: My guess is you aren’t alone on your mission. You either have a team you work with or you will one day have a team to work with. Your attitude around those who you work with can lift them up or bring them down. Which will it be? Be someone folks want to be around.
Respect: This takes listening to all around you and actually helping. No, the people you work with won’t get everything correct. But, they should still get your respect. People around you will know you follow God because of your respect for them
Time: Are you always late? Don’t be! Be on time to everything. Show up early if you can. This applies to a meeting or to the time you need to help a patient.
We’ve covered a lot in this post. I hope you’ve been encouraged and have found the practical tips you need to help you live out your calling. If you dream of being involved in Christian health ministries, be encouraged to serve where you are. Be the believer who doesn't simply aim to “someday” be a missionary, but be the person who lives out their calling in their job, especially if that’s healthcare, every day. All of us should aim to live out our faith with our careers, our time—our very lives.