About two years ago, I almost left the world of blogging. I was feeling pulled and tugged in too many directions, without a clear sense of where I fit, why I was blogging, and why any of it mattered. I felt a bit squeezed. So, I took a break. I didn’t write for other sites, I didn’t guest post, I left very few comments. I simply focused on my own little blog and tried to write my way to clarity. I paid attention to the things and the places and — more importantly — the people I missed.
In that time, I discovered one of the places I missed the most was TheHighCalling.org. I realized most of the online connections I’ve made have been through that one, humble, beautiful spot on the internet.
A lot of the time, when I mention The High Calling, it seems as if it’s one of the best-kept secrets on the internet. People either know it about, or they don’t. But when I mention names of editors and writers on the staff at The High Calling, most people say, “Oh, I know him/her! She/He’s wonderful!” It’s true. Everyone involved with The High Calling is, indeed, wonderful. Here, I’m going to come clean and admit I’m probably biased. I serve as managing editor at The High Calling, so I have the privilege of interacting with this team of amazing writers and thinkers on a regular basis. I know their stories; threads of redemption and grace and humility and faith and strength and courage and humor and grit run through that place like a river.
The High Calling is a ministry of the Foundations for Laity Renewal, with headquarters in Kerrville, Texas. The history of the Foundation and its founder, Howard E. Butt (yes, of H-E-B stores!) is stunning. There is a quiet, gentle, persistent, and beautiful commitment to a life a faith, a peaceful walk, and the belief that whatever work you do — white collar, blue collar, no collar, or apron strings — is noble, and holy, and sacred…and it matters to God. When you lead a meeting of the Board of Directors, it matters to God. When you dig a trench for a new well, it matters to God. When you change a baby’s diaper for the sixteenth time that morning, it matters to God. When you sit at your desk with the clock ticking and you write a post and hit publish, it matters to God. When you preach a sermon, it matters to God. When you flip burgers and make change at the drive-thru window, it matters to God. When you plant seeds and repair fences, it matters to God. Whatever you do, no matter where, your work matters to God; and your work matters just as much as your neighbor’s.
Each year, the people at the Foundations for Laity Renewal invite you to take a break from the significant work you do, because we believe rest and re-creation are sacred, necessary, and often neglected acts of worship. When you make your trip to the canyon, and spend an hour in a rocking chair overlooking the river, or on the dock staring up at the falling stars, or leaning over your plate in the dining hall to hear every word your table mates offer up, or walk a dirt trail in solitude with God, you will feel the welling up of grace — the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit — and you will know…trust me on this…you will know you matter to God.
This week, at TheHighCalling.org, we’ve dipped our toes into the conversation about work-life balance. I think we’ve got a different perspective, that might add something worthwhile to the conversation. Feel free to click the badge in my sidebar and join the conversation. In November, we’ll be making our annual pilgrimage to The High Calling retreat at Laity Lodge. I encourage you to consider joining us. Come swim with us, worship with us, rock and look over the river with us, hike with us…or just with God. We’d love to see you there. We’d love to wrap our arms around you, race you in a canoe, watch the stars shoot across the midnight sky, and share the grace of God…with you.
To register for this year’s retreat, click here.
To learn more about TheHighCalling.org, click here.
To learn more about the Foundations For Laity Renewal, click here.
To meet the team of editors and writers at TheHighCalling.org, click here.
If you’ve got questions, or you want more information, please send me an email by clicking the “Let’s Chat” tab in my sidebar, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Type the words “High Calling Retreat” or “High Calling” in the subject line.