Being the first day of the year when the weather was forecasted to be mostly sunny and over 60˚ Fahrenheit, I set aside the books (temporarily) and journeyed out to the beach with several friends. While at the beach, I had the pleasure of walking alongside a friend from last semester who is returning to their home country later this week. As we walked along, we decided to take a selfie, I pulled out my phone turned on the camera, but before I could switch the camera orientation into selfie-mode, my friend, peering onto my screen, noticed how beautiful the sand that the camera was currently pointed at was and asked me to take a picture of it.
While we may willingly share our 'pictures' with one another (see previous post), do we trust others enough to let them into our lives as we seek to live out our calling, letting them add their input? It may lead to a different picture than the one we were aiming for, but often the picture will still capture an aspect of God's love.
I've treasured the friendships that have thus far survived the transition to long-distance and still keep me accountable. I've come to realize though that while such friendships ought to be valued, it is also vital to build relationships locally with the people who are seeing me day in and day out that may hold me accountable. The local friends are those who are able to peer over my shoulder to see what is currently on the screen of my life, possibly better than those who are at a distance. Allowing such friends to speak into my life and hold me accountable has changed the 'pictures' I produce. For example, one of the subjects that I am now focusing on is Sabbath rest. As I go about life here, my friends have seen me with class related books in my hand seven days a week and question me as to that habit. I doubt that I would be so focused on Sabbath this semester on a personal level if it wasn't for these friends walking alongside me.
Calling has both individual and collective aspects. While I feel called to focus on certain areas, it is important to allow others to walk alongside me who may observe the tools I have and point me to what is often right in front of me. It takes vulnerability, but in the end, the best photos are often those that capture life unposed.
Do we leave our life open enough for people to peer in to hold us accountable as we seek to live out our calling?