Callings for Life: God’s Plan, Your Purpose Review

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a Lutheran Administrator’s Conference in Florida. While I was there, I learned many things about Early Childhood Education and Administration. I also received a few books at the conference. I decided to start with a one written by Jeffrey Leininger called Callings for Life: God’s Plan, Your Purpose.

I was excited to start this book though because Jeffrey Leininger was my campus pastor at Concordia University Chicago. He continues to serve many young adults as the campus pastor at CUC. This book may appeal more to those who haven’t hit retirement age; but I imagine most people, even those in retirement can identify with some of the questions posed in this book.

I know when I was younger, I fell into the struggle of wondering, “What’s God’s big plan for me?” I feel like we can fall into the struggle of “the one” thing God has for us: “the one” for me to marry, “the one” college/university/grad school/etc. program I need to go into, “the one” job God set aside for me, “the one”or “big thing” I’m going to do for God, and it can continue. We may worry that if we don’t fulfill the one big thing God planned for us to do, we’re not fulfilling His purpose for our lives. Even worse, what if we missed it? This book does a wonderful job examining some of those questions, but then pointing back to the vocations God has for us. If someone is a fan of Luther’s teachings of vocation, this book will be an enjoyable, light version of some of those teachings. For someone wanting an easy introduction to Luther’s teachings on vocations, this is also a good book to consider.

Pastor Leininger does a wonderful job pointing out how we are called to serve God in our current vocations. He indirectly uses both Law and Gospel to point out the danger of constantly seeking God’s purpose or big plan for our life. He helps the reader remain grounded with the expectations God has for us.

My favorite illustration used in the book is about Jonah and the big fish. He points out in many stories we can find ourselves identifying with more than one character. In this one, we often see ourselves as Jonah or the Ninevites, but rarely do we see ourselves as the big fish. I don’t want to spoil the illustration and how he relates our vocations to the fish. If interested, pick up a copy of Callings for Life: God’s Plan, Your Purpose from Concordia Publishing House or Amazon or borrow the copy I finished.