What do you do? I don't mean the opening question at a party which is followed up by "accounting,” or “I'm a mom, I raise kids”. What do you really do? For most of my life I would answer that as my occupation, give a vague reference to my college major, or list out my tasks from the previous week. I don't do that anymore.
Now I tend to think about it in a much deeper way. For me, the older I get the more value I place on my time and the better I get at determining just what is valuable after all.
In A Purpose Driven Life, the author Rick Warren conveys the idea that God has something unique for you, and you alone, to do. And it gets worse. If you don’t do this thing, it simply won’t get done. No pressure there! Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Love it.
So if you plan to turn your attention to finding the calling in your life, may I submit that you already know the answer. I think we all do. It just may be buried deep under to-do lists, conference calls and packing lunches.
Let’s start with what I’ve learned the hard way, and what you probably already know. It doesn’t have to be your occupation or even where you spend most of your time. It’s almost never what society will tell you is valuable, or what will bring you fame and fortune. That would simply be too easy.
For me (and maybe just me) I found my calling in what I never tire of doing. What my mind returns to, over and over, despite all obstacles. It’s what tied together my crazy attributes, which some found annoying and others envied. It’s what made me unique, in my own weird way. It’s also a path that, once I started down, resulted in doors flung open and guideposts aplenty.
I certainly know that helping pets is on the “to do” list of every Comfort for Critters volunteer. So it might just be your calling as well. Or maybe not. Maybe there’s a huge overlap in our vision, but your perspective has you fostering puppies or encouraging your grandkids to love pets. Whatever “work” uniquely awaits you, it’s always worth seeking out.
I’ve found that knowing “what I do” has helped guide many decisions. I know now what aspects of my life to water, and which I let wither away. It’s helped me deal with, and also recognize, God’s guiding hand in the mundane aspects of my very ordinary life.
So as the t-shirt reads, “I comfort critters”. It’s what I do, it’s what I love. It’s what gets me up in the morning and what I always find time to do, even when I have no time at all. For me this means taking a step each day towards helping an animal in need (a “critter”). I try to treat my pets as I’d like to be treated. I try to keep Comfort for Critters going, despite rising postage rates, aching elbows and a plate full of commitments. I surely don’t always succeed, but even on my worst days I can find the time to add one more row to a blanket, so not all is lost.
Helping critters is the area of the world that I get to leave my fingerprint. In permanent marker, no less. Yes, it’s just one simple, ordinary fingerprint, but it’s all mine. I plan to write much more on this, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, what would you put on your t-shirt?