Each of us are invited to pursue three great loves.
Compass for Calling is a five-week online course dedicated to helping you discover your life purpose:
In this first of four blog posts, we explore the foundations of calling:
A while ago, I went down the internet rabbit hole of ‘watching colourblind people see colours for the first time. (Spoiler: it’s amazing).
In each video, people with specific forms of colourblindness, (specifically, anomalous trichromacy, a form of red/green colourblindness) put on sunglasses with a particular lens which filters out the wavelengths of light that cause the brain to misperceive the different colours.
What struck me was the ways in which grown men were completely dumbstruck, brought to tears, at the sight of the sky, or grass, or balloons for the first time. There’s something so beautiful about watching someone discover (literally) that the sky is blue for the first time.
Some of you might remember the tragicomic film, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’. It’s about a weird family in a broken-down van, trying to get to California for their daughter’s Olive’s beauty pageant. In the film, Dwayne, Olive’s older brother, had decided to become a fighter pilot. In the film, he’s nine months into a vow of silence which he’ll continue until he achieves his goal. However, in the back seat of a broken-down van somewhere in the desert, Dwayne happens upon a colour blindness test in his sister’s activity book:
The opposite of the scenes of the sunglasses take place. He’d never realized, and nobody noticed, that he had the same kind of colourblindness described above. His eyes widen and total panic sets in as he realizes that he can’t live his dream of flying jets.
What does this have to do with my life purpose?
I contend that just like all colour and vibrancy that visible with our eyes comes from three basic colours, so too does our calling come from three basic 'invitations'.
In the first century, a young teacher named Jesus was asked what the ‘Great Commandment’, the most important faith teaching, was, and he responded as follows: 29 “The most important [commandment],” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.”*
*It's important to note that forms of this teaching have strong roots in other faith traditions as well, for ecample:
Buddhism: Udanavarga 5:18
Do not offend others as you would not want to be offended.
Islam: Prophet Muhammad
None of you are true believers until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.
The religious traditions of Jesus' time and place were an intricate code to that guided prayer, food, sleep, and why not to mix cotton and polyester. The code and its commentary is thousands of pages long, and there remains vocal disagreement on how and when each part of it applies.. Against this complexity, Jesus summarized life with the following three invitations:
Love God Love Your Neighbour Love Yourself
Back to primary colours for a minute:
Red. Yellow. Blue. See, the beauty of these three colours isn’t just in their own appearance but rather in their ability to mix together to create new colours:
Of course, these colours can be combined a second time, and displayed in dozens of different shades:
In fact, any colour, any colour that’s visible to the human eye comes from a combination of these three primary colours:
In this life, you are invited to three 'loves'. These primary colours are:
Love God Love Your Neighbour Love Yourself
Together, in their dizzying array of combinations, they give fullness of life and vibrancy. Your great calling, or the way you'll find joy and vibrancy within the world, is as diverse and beautiful as any of the images above.
Like primary colours, these three invitations to love are combined in a way that’s vibrant and unique, the building blocks of a life filled with wonder.
So what should you do with your life? Literally anything! So long as you are loving God, your neighbour, and yourself.
In the next few blog posts, we'll talk about the importance of each one of these 'invitations' and how to keep one from overshadowing the other.
Until next time,