Unknown Caller. Unknown Number. Well, let’s see who this might be.
“Who’s calling please?” I asked.
“I need to speak right away with the person who owns the computer in your house.”
“Who’s calling please?” I asked again. “And why do you want that person?”
“We had a report of a virus on your software.”
“Well that’s strange since that computer is no longer in operation and I have a MacBook.”
Click. End of conversation. I never did find out exactly who was calling, but it was obvious they were trying to trick me into giving them access to our computer.
Once we got cell phones, we received fewer and fewer calls on our home phone. Over ninety per cent of them were from people or companies we had no intention of carrying on a conversation with. We finally made the decision and got rid of that landline.
We have other calls, though, that we should answer. We are called to do a job. It’s our vocation. Perhaps it’s a formal hiring. Or maybe it’s our place in the family. In any case we are called to do something. We can avoid or ignore that call, but someone has to do the work or it won’t get done.
Some things we are asked to do are just part of our calling. I know when there was a need at church for music or teaching, my gifts were called upon. My calling as a wife and mother includes a job description that is difficult to measure. My husband isn’t a physician, but he still made house calls to his parishioners who couldn’t get to church. He felt it was part of what he was called to do... bringing healing to the souls of those shut-ins.
There are names I don’t want to be called because that’s not who I am or who I want to be: hypocrite, unfeeling, demanding, Even when I have had enough of this world and its trials, when things never seem to get better, I try not to let myself slip into Naomi’s cry, “Call me Mara [bitter]” (Ruth 1:20).
I’ve been called names I don’t deserve, and Jesus certainly understands my frustration. After all He was called Beelzebub… Satan… and that certainly was far from the truth!
God calls me names I don’t deserve either. He calls me one of His children, His friend, one of His holy people. He calls me by His name!
More likely I’m the prodigal child who cries out that I’m not worthy to be called His daughter. After all I am that sinner Jesus said He came to call to be saved. I certainly wasn’t especially wise or influential, and I certainly wasn’t of noble birth when He came calling.
Yet God called me. He called me in my baptism “out of darkness and into His marvelous light!” (I Peter 2:9 ESV) He calls me by name just as clearly as he did the boy Samuel in the temple or Moses from the burning bush.
Unfortunately, no matter how much I try to live my life worthy of this calling, I fall short again and again. I can’t make it happen.
But my Lord Jesus can. He’s the one who makes me worthy. He’s the one who makes me holy so He isn’t ashamed to be called my Brother (Hebrews 2:11).
The apostle Paul knew he too wasn’t worthy. He was the one who had studied the Law and traditions in order to keep them perfectly. Yet he had it all wrong. It wasn’t until God called him by His grace that Paul realized that the Lord had set him apart from his mother’s womb for a calling he never expected (See Galatians 1:14-16).
Just as Paul and the other apostles were set apart, called for a purpose, I have a vocation, a calling from my Lord Jesus. Like the voice that called in the wilderness preparing the way for the Christ, I go into my own wildernesses in this world with His message of grace and love. I can avoid or ignore the call, but someone still needs to do it… or the work won’t get done.
I do hear His voice calling every day. Calling me to repent, calling me to love others, calling me to forgive, calling me to just live for Him… for the purpose He has for me.
For I am called. Called to hope, called to freedom, called to peace, called through the Gospel into fellowship with not only my Christ but with all those throughout the world who call on His name in faith.
And what is the final call? My Jesus, the Lamb of God, in the final battle will triumph over those who wage war against Him “because He is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers” (Rev. 17:14 NIV).