And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
What does it mean to be called? You hear a voice, you hear your name? Someone wants something from you? Someone needs to tell you something? I can’t help but think about Jesus speaking of himself as a shepherd in John 10:27, and saying “my sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me.”
Each day a shepherd would call the sheep and take them to pasture, in and out of the gate and perhaps along a path. The sheep follow because they know the voice of the shepherd, and wouldn’t recognize or follow a stranger’s voice. In the same way Jesus’ voice needs to become familiar to us. We recognize it from prayer and reading His Word, by becoming aware of who He is and the things He has taught. He calls to us, and we know it is His voice because we have grown familiar with Him that way. His purpose is to lead us as we follow. Going out of the gate may seem frightening sometimes. The path may be steep or rocky on occasion. But we follow the voice of the one who is leading us always for our own good. His calling is from a place of love for us, and along the way He has things for us to do to love Him in return. His simple calling is for us to love Him, and the pasture awaits.