Be Who You’re Called to Be


I once dated a struggling British actress. We talked about how hard it was to make it in the movie biz. She mentioned meeting a 35 year old actor who’d wrapped work on a “kid’s movie” at London’s Elstree Studios. It was his first lead role, he told her, but he was pretty sure it was going to bomb, so he was busy lining up carpentry jobs back in L.A.

Then the “kid’s movie” Star Wars was released. Harrison Ford had to cancel a lot of office remodeling gigs. Because, after 15 years as an underemployed actor, he was suddenly the number one box office star in the world, and remained so for over two decades.

Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Why? Because so many fail to be who they really are, or even work up the courage to find out. It’s true that there are those who are deluded, who relentlessly pursue a false calling (fame, wealth, power), but they too have failed to find out who they truly are. I once met a teenage girl who was passionate about becoming an embalmer. Hey, not my cup of formaldehyde, but more power to her. Keep looking. Keep listening.

Who are you? It may take years to find out–Ray Kroc was 50 when he mustered up the pluck to go into business for himself, with a little burger stand called McDonald’s; Grandma Moses picked up her first paint brush at age 78–but the journey will be greater than any adventure you’ll ever have in the guise of someone you were not created to be. And by the way…

It helps to check with the one who created you.

“[Abraham] did not waver is trusting the promise of God, but grew strong in his faith, being fully persuaded that God was able to do what He had promised.”

~Romans 4:20-21

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Memoir, Popular Culture & Entertainment, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Be Who You’re Called to Be

  1. Great post about the importance of purpose! I just wrote about this being the time of year when many take a look back and also give some thought to the new year. ” Quiet desperation ” perfectly describes what I have done….get up in the morning and drive to a job I knew wasn’t right. Rick Warren gave us a good reminder in his book, Purpose Driven Life. I believe the first words of the first chapter were something close to ” It’s not about me “…Since God knew us before we were born, He would truly have a purpose for our lives. I believe God will reveal this in prayer for us and that our His/our purpose can change over the years. I appeciate you sharing your walk of faith!

    Liked by 9 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Yep, the opening sentence of The Purpose Driven Life is, “It’s not about you.” Ironically, embracing that truth is the key to understanding who we truly are. The central paradox of Jesus’ teaching is that we must die to live. Thanks, Rick!

      Liked by 3 people

    • wonderboy57 says:

      Great thoughts thank you. I’ll be seeking God’s purpose for my life afresh in 2017. I am His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do the good works He predestined for me to walk in them and so I shall. Happy, successful and prosperous new year.


  2. Wonderful words! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. RGS says:

    Thank you for this important reminder. I needed this.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. JJAzar says:

    You always have me hanging onto every word! I’ve never taken a liking to Thoreau, yet that’s more due to his writing style than his message. The quote you cited certainly rings true though. Great post, Mitch!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Great post Mitch! As always, it truly spoke to my heart… and right where I am. I tend to say, “I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be when I grow up.” 😄 But the truth is that who I am now has unfolded one day and one step at a time…and every day of the journey, I look forward to seeing what is around the next corner and beyond the bend. I doubt it will be a 20 year acting gig, but hey, ya never know! 😂He is in control! ☝🏻

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Thank you for this post Mitch. So life affirming! The upside of aging is how little energy is left over to waste on other people’s idea of you. Instead, we zero in on our Truth of who we who we were born to be. Freedom at its’ Highest.🌟

    Liked by 4 people

  7. K. Johnson says:

    Thanks for this! Did you find that it took you a while to figure out who you are? My problem seems to be that I have too many passions. I feel I need ten lifetimes. Not sure if this means I don’t know myself yet or if I’m just overly-enthusiastic about life! Anyway, great post as always.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. rltsite says:

    Wonderful post! It’s so hard to not feel intimidated at the prospect of trying to fulfil your dreams, especially when trying to sift through the real ones and those that are misguided…

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Thank you, Rachael! Yes, it is. I think people, especially young people, make the mistake of thinking they’ll figure it out all at once, but calling tends to be a progressive revelation. I knew a world-class football player who looked out at the crowd during his first NFL game (after years of struggling to get there) and realized he was more passionate about leading those people to Christ than in playing football. He enrolled in seminary, and is now a pastor.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nancy Ruegg says:

    You’re so right: we can’t go wrong if we check in with our all-wise God who created each of us unique to fulfill specific purposes. And we never need to be “afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God” (Corrie ten Boom). Such comfort in that! Also find encouragement in those verses you highlighted from Romans, chapter four. Thank you for an uplifting post, Mitch, that nudges us forward!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. aresonantone says:

    Its things like this that keep me hanging in there. I just finished my NaNoWriMo project, and am back to the 4th draft of my first novel with the second one being plotted and the first draft of the third book (oy! you have no idea how weird it has gotten) already written.

    And I am 45. It’s not too late.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is very true. I’ve seen too many who try to be someone else that they admire only to fall on their faces because they find they are just not good at it. I’ve actually had some try to be who I am and do what I do, only to end up bypassing the real blessing of who they really are.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Aquileana says:

    Knowing who you are seem to be easy… And yet, it is a neverending search 😊😙 Great post, Mitch. I particularly liked Thoreau’s quote, but whole post resonated with me 🌟 happy weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My daughter is 13 and, although a bright girl who is a good all-rounder, is struggling to find out who she is because she thinks she ought to excel at something (despite the fact that most of her classmates probably envy her ability to be good at everything). She is still young enough (and impressionable enough) to believe that worth comes from outside herself. Our identity, as I so often have to remind myself, is only found in Christ. That said, my laptop has been in the computer repair shop for weeks and weeks (and weeks!) and I have a great idea for a SF novel 😀 The plot is all there ready and waiting and it will be so much fun to write. I cannot write on this blinkin’ Kindle. First world problems, I know, but I CAN’T WAIT to get writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Man, I love your posts, especially this one! It was a reminder to keep trying to know myself and my purpose better…I needed that. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for this. My main gig is being a pastor, but I recently re-kindled my passion for writing, recording and playing music live. I second guessed myself. I’m 60, and I wondered if I was fooling myself. Others second guessed me as well.

    But as I have kept the music in its proper place, I have sensed God’s blessing.

    I like Eric Liddell’s quote: I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

    Thanks for writing this, and may others be liberated to be the people God made them to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sandi Staton says:

    I was a strong-willed child. My mother was a control freak. She used scripture, guilt, and shame to control me. By the time I entered 1st grade, I was a timid, emotional wreck with learning and social disabilities. All my life I pretended to be someone I was not because of my tremendous fear of rejection. With years of gut-wrenching determination and God’s help, I am whole today. I can finally look in the mirror and my mother no longer glares back at me. I thank God for loving me as I am!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. AprilEsutton says:

    Nice to read. Gives me, once called a complete failure, hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. peggy says:

    Encouraging words.


  19. Thank you for using one of my most favorite quotes! I taught public school for 18 years in Title I schools in high crime areas. These disadvantaged and amazingly bright children were my calling. I had no idea that this would be one of my career directions. I taught at our church Day School while our children were young. I “happened” to be offered the job because a teacher resigned just before school started and I “happened” to know someone on the board. I now realize that it did not just “happen”…I was being led in the right direction. I “happened” to be listening! What a joyful opportunity! I changed to public schools when I was looking for another challenge! I learned to seek challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. anchorrock4 says:

    Sometimes our unique greatness scares us and we tend to find comfort in hiding in the shadow of some other well-known person. What is in us is greater than what is outside of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. anchorrock4 says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have wanted to do and be so many different things. The enemy of our life has interfered in every one of those dreams. However, I am able to say that I am a terrific wife (just ask my hubby – lol), a loving daughter, mother and grandmother. So – not doing too badly I guess. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m just now getting to read this as the retail hectic is settling for me and this is so beautiful. It’s a wonderful reminder and your words have put a big smile onto my face. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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