There is a lot out there right now about following your dream and fulfilling your call. Don’t get me wrong, in many ways, I think all that is great, but one thing I notice about it is those dreams and those calls are often big and public.

They often involve tweeting and Facebook updates and blog posts and boosting traffic and sale funnels. Obviously, I have nothing against those things because I post on Facebook, and I definitely blog. I’ve even tried to tweet. (I’m still not entirely sure I’m doing that right!) I think sale funnels are pretty cool, too.

But nobody talks about the small call. The call that isn’t glamorous or cool or big.The call that means getting up at midnight with a fussy baby or showing up every day to a job you don’t like so you can provide for your family or working in the nursery every week so others can take in the sermon.

There are millions of people nobody’s ever heard of that are quietly, faithfully answering the small call every day – day in and day out.

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I’ve been studying I Thessalonians the past week or two, and the few things that stood out to me were the great suffering and trials Paul had to go through just to share the Gospel in one place. He did it – even though he knew he would suffer because those people needed what he had to share.

The other thing I noticed was that it was all about the people Paul served – not about him. With cyberspace, there is so much potential. We can reach people across the globe with a blog post. We can connect with someone who doesn’t even speak the same language as we do through a video or podcast or picture.

We stand on a global stage and it gets really easy to expect every call to be big and loud and sweeping. It can be really easy to make it all about us instead of the people we’re called to serve. It seems the struggle is worth it to reach so many, to do something big and important where everyone can see us.

But what if what God is calling us to is small and quiet and immediate? Are we still willing to suffer without an audience? Are we willing to sacrifice without applause for doing so?

God’s timing is always so interesting. The small call is something I’ve been contemplating. The idea of God fulfilling our dreams is also something I’ve been thinking about – mostly because it seems, well, a little too happily ever after sometimes.

I hate to be a downer. I tend to be an optimistic, look-on-the-bright-side type of person, but those who answered the call in the Bible didn’t exactly get happily-ever-afters. They had to do hard things that involved scary leaps of faith. After all, they didn’t know the ending of the story like we do.

Look at the apostles. The best ending for any of them was John’s and he was exiled to an island all by himself. Not exactly a pot at the end of the rainbow, is it?

God used him – gave him Revelations – but it wasn’t a trip to Club Med. John didn’t know that his words would be read (and argued over) by thousands of Christians for millenia. Instead, he died a lone in the middle of nowhere. Probably not how he’d always dreamed his life would end.

The other apostles were run through with swords, beheaded and even crucified upside down. None of their ends were anywhere near what we would consider happy. Their happy ending came AFTER this life.

I don’t mean that God doesn’t use us. I don’t mean that He doesn’t call us and equip us to fulfill that call. I’m not even saying God doesn’t show us His goodness right here on this earth. I’m just saying I’m not sure it is quite like all the gurus would have you think – working out all neat and tidy in the end with a big bow.

Many times the things He calls us to are hard. They don’t come with applause or accolades. They are not performed on a global stage, but quietly behind the scenes.

Are we still willing?

In November 2013, my dad was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Despite the statistics, it still rocked my world. Cancer is something you expect to happen to other families. My dad got chemotherapy and a great doctor, and he did well.

Until recently. When the chemo stopped working and his numbers rose at an alarming rate.

In a very short time, he wasn’t doing so well. He also got shingles at Christmas and came down with pneumonia. It was a difficult winter for him and an even harder spring.

Instead of a monthly visit to his specialist an hour and a half away, he now has to go twice a week. When he first started going to his specialist in 2013, I went with them the first few times. After that, he and my mom have been making the trips on their own or with some good friends of theirs. This last trip, though, I felt like I should go with them.

I’m glad I did. It was a long day for my dad, and he was really too tired to drive home. I’m glad I was there to do it for him. (Did I mention big city traffic is crazy at rush hour?) I was glad I was there to lend the support of another person’s presence. It was a long, grueling day for both my dad and my mom.

For the foreseeable future, until the cancer is back under control, I plan on going with them for most of their upcoming trips, as well. Right now, that’s my calling. It’s not easy with a family and work. I am in the process of expanding my freelancing, and I usually have a long to do list every day.

But, as my friend Kayse Pratt said in her post today – my parents don’t really need my productivity. They need my presence.

It’s not glamorous or cool or global – but it’s still a holy calling. And you know what? It’s rewarding in a way the out loud, flashier things are not. To quietly be present, to lend a helping hand and a supportive shoulder is a gift – and I don’t mean to my parents either.

Throughout my life, my parents have been there for me. They have supported me and believed in me and answered my frantic calls as a new parent with a spewing child. They have stepped in and stepped up more times than I can count.

Now it is my turn to do the same for them, and it isn’t some kind of burden either. It’s an honor and a privilege to do the same thing for them that they’ve always done for me – and that’s simply be there.

I don’t know what the future holds. The early numbers look promising that the chemo is working for my dad. I hope that means I’ll have years left with him. I pray he can see his grandsons (he’s always bragging about them) graduate and start their own lives.

But regardless if I have years or not, I plan on being present.

How about you? Has God called you to something small and quiet? I’d love to hear about it!

Blessings, Rosanne

2 Comments on When God’s Call Doesn’t Include a Platform

  1. I can confirm that this blog information is real. Rosanne has been a blessing and a wonderful daughter. Cancer is the word that one never wants to hear and the journey is difficult, but it is easier to go through when you have support of loved one. Thank you Rosanne, Mom

    • Wow. That was beautifully written…. As you know, I have been there…. It was not easy… but looking back, it was among the most important things I have ever done. Just being present… being there for support and doing whatever is needed. You and your Mom and Dad are in my prayers. I pray that his treatments will make him well and strong. You are right. It’s not glamorous or flashy. It is so much more profound and real. You are in my thoughts and prayers!!!!!!!!!

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