Third, some contextualization to help us think about our own callings: The ancestors of most readers of this column, and my own grandparents, came to a new world. They weren't among those who remained in their old villages. We should not be among the many who, in the words of Hebrews, "shrink back and are destroyed." With God's grace, we are "of those who have faith and preserve their souls." With God's grace, we—alongside great scribes and great actors—can react the same way great quarterbacks do when it's fourth and goal: "Let's go for it."
(Leave it to the coaches to choose the security of a field goal. Leave it to union bosses to argue that our goal should be to spend enough years at a boring job to accumulate a pension. Leave it to most hobbits to stay home, but Bilbo and Frodo head down the road that goes on and on, down from the door where it began. They have frightful adventures, but look at what they learn about God's sovereignty, Middle Earth, and themselves. Calling. Determination.)
In this column I've been mixing earthly and godly callings, and the two are very different: One is an existentialist desire to make a mark and not to go gently into the dying of the light. The other is a Christ-centered desire to go wherever God leads us—or stay where we are if that is the best way to glorify Him. We can make an idol out of going and an idol out of staying, so it's not for me to say what's best for each individual, but I am now going to extend an invitation to readers who feel called to write and lead.
As WORLD publisher Nick Eicher reported in the Nov. 20 issue of the magazine, I now feel called to leave academics and devote all my work time to building WORLD. Early next year I'll write about how many of you can become involved in WORLD's expanding mission. Is God calling you? If so, be prepared to say yes. We're going for it.
Reprinted with permission of WORLD Magazine.