I wrote and edited some of the articles about people's calling or vocations for the special section in the Dec. 4 issue of WORLD while thinking about the calling of some Christians who died centuries ago, the calling of two actors, and maybe your calling, too.
First, the golden oldies: On a recent Saturday morning in New York City, My wife, Susan, and I visited a wondrous exhibit of illuminated manuscripts at the New York Public Library. Some medieval scribes worked for decades copying one text and decorating it with illustrations, ornate initial letters, and marginal drawings. Those with right hearts were determined to glorify God. Calling. Determination. The exhibit is there through the end of February, and it's free.
(If you visit, note the exhibitors' theological liberalism, evidenced in sentences such as, "a man who made a covenant with God, a man named Abraham." It was God, of course, who made the covenant, as Hebrews 11:8 relates: "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called. . . . And he went out, not knowing where he was going." That's Abraham, but isn't that all of us, proceeding with limited knowledge? God in Genesis 12 merely tells Abraham to go "to the land that I will show you." No Mapquest. Not even an initial house-hunting trip alongside a Realtor. God says go, and we go.)
Second, two other golden oldies: That Saturday evening we walked over to Broadway to take in the new stage version ofDriving Miss Daisy, astoundingly starring both James Earl Jones, age 79, and Vanessa Redgrave, 73. This esteemed actor and actress do not need to go on stage for 90 minutes eight times per week for the money. They obviously love what they're doing and do not want to retire. Calling. Determination. The play goes through the end of January and is excellent, but pricey.
(When God calls people to particular labors, that work is far more fun than retirement. Besides, as Hugh Ross—see "The happy warrior"—writes, "The experience, education, and training we gain in this earthly life" prepare us for our roles—perhaps, as Paul told the Corinthians, even judging angels—in the new creation. Able people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s can still gain experience and wisdom for their calling after death.)