Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Mark 1.2-3)
I regularly have conversations with people about their "calling" in life. Often times I get to celebrate and encourage people who are on the journey of figuring out what they're made for and helping them align certain elements of their lives to actually make it all happen. Other times, I sit across the table from people who feel as if they've "missed their calling" or are having trouble sorting out what they're "called to do" in life. Either way, it seems that most people share in common this desire to understand what they are made for and believe they will find fulfilment when they are living it out.
The verses above are found at the beginning of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament. Among other things, the biblical gospels tell us about the life of Jesus and right at the start of this gospel we are given insight as to how God works in relation to "calling" people. Verse 2 tells us about how Isaiah had spoken for God when he said, "Behold, I send my messenger," which is referring to John the Baptist. Isaiah had written these words some 700 plus years before John the Baptist was even born.
How can this be? How could this prophet of old speak in the present tense about something that would take place in the future?
We might find a clue by considering Ephesians 2.10 which says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared for us before hand, that we should walk in them." Again we are met with this concept of "beforehand."
How astounding is it that God has not only created us, but that he has even prepared things for us to do? Moreover, how comforting is it to know that though he has established these things in eternity past, he is also ever present with us now and enables us to do the very things he has called us to do?
John the Baptist was aware not only of his calling, but he was also of who had called him. It is the latter of these two truths that made all of the difference in his life. John the Baptist understood he was called by God to do the job that he was created to do, and as a result he was able to spread the news about Jesus and invite others focus on the One whom the Father had sent for us.
What are you called do to? More importantly, do you know the one that is calling?