If there is one thing that irks me about the current polarized political climate, it is people who claim that because God backs their beliefs, they are blessed, good and right, so the anyone who challenges them must be demonic, evil and wrong.
This is the basis for so much ends justify the means behaviour, so much of people refusing to work together and compromise, instead demanding that they own the one right way, and their opponents have to come to Jesus for any common ground to be found.
So much bad has been done in the name of God through the centuries that I understand why people are suspicious of those who claim they are acting in God’s name, under God’s warrant.
I spent decades doing the work to understand this. In my understanding, there is a big difference in doing the work of the church and doing the work of the divine.
Those who have been destructive in the name of God seem to be preachy preachers, who use God to justify separation, us versus them, the blessed versus the unholy. They preach on how others need to change in order to become sanctified.
Those who have been constructive in the name of God seem to be teachy preachers, who use God to reveal connection, how all things are linked, how respect and understanding get us closer to the divine. They teach how we have to change to embrace connection, looking inside to see where we hold barriers to connecting with the universe.
The reason I have struggled with this so strongly for decades is because my own trans nature has been classified as unholy and a sick deception by others. I needed to figure out how to tell what is holy and what is true using the shared knowledge, rather than just the teachings of one church or another.
It’s easy to say that you feel a calling. Understanding if that call is from the ego or the divine, from the devil or from God is much more difficult.
What is calling from the Godvoice, what is blessed destiny, and what is just indulgence and fallacy? How do you claim that you are acting from calling and not be tossed away as deluded and dangerous?
Almost everything you do will seem insignificant,
but it is important that you do it
What Gandhi knew about calling was that no human was required to be perfect, or even able to be perfect for that matter. No human is divine; we are all human.
What is required though, is that we play our part in the process, refuse to be silenced, adding our voice, our energy and resources, and do that which we are called on to do. We are each part of the community, of the nation, of the race, and as such, we have a part to play, even if it seems insignificant.
Inherently, our part won’t be to be balanced and inert, rather our part is to add our own dynamic, moving the centre, changing the balance, strengthening and moving the world into a future that we had a tiny part in creating, no matter how insignificant we saw ourselves to be.
Sometimes all I can do when asked for help, for example, is to use my skill at search engines — I started when AltaVista was owned by DEC — and find a resource that escaped others, which moves the process forward, as I did when the doctor asked for help this week. It seemed insignificant to me, but she saw it as important.
Resisting calling because it might be ego and sickness expressing themselves is resisting the opportunity to learn and grow from making choices that were not perfect. “And the trouble is, that if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more,” as Erica Jong wrote. Risk is the only way to find growth and risk is the only way to find success.
Now, all that is lovely theology about calling. It all gives good reasons to own that song in your heart that your creator gave you, and only you, to sing.
But when you have learned to silence that inner voice, when the world has told you it is just wrong to act on who you knew yourself to be at age five, at age eleven, all your life, when you have sacrificed so much for so long to play along, well, theology is cold comfort indeed.
There are many tricks to defeating calling, and most are clad in goodness. We get our bliss quenched as being unholy, not spiritual or of the ego, for example, when that usually means that it makes others uncomfortable by stimulating their own fears. We learn to be self-policing, self-sabotaging, self-defeating.
Make no mistake, though, calling must be defeated to keep transpeople in the closet. And the longer we have practised defeating calling, the more entrenched we are in our own fears of it. Fear of trusting calling becomes one of the core principles in any closeted life, giving us the wherewithal to play small.
To reclaim a life and the power that comes with it, reclaiming calling is key. Reclaiming calling, though, means overcoming the deep, internalized and profound fear of calling.
And once the infection of fear has spread through your soul, calling is hard to reclaim, and even harder to own.