I had a vision about a week ago. Not an "eyes glazed over, spiritually in another place" vision, just a flash of an idea in my visual cortex. A day or two later it grew into something more. A day or so after that it was almost fully formed. Last night I had the complete vision.
I am going to share my vision with you, the reader. Not because I want you to know my circumstance or my journey (speaking frankly, I don't want you to know that right now. The timing is not right) but because my vision may help you in your growth with God.
In my vision a child is dashing through a long hallway filled with doors, all of them closed. The child is eager to explore the rooms. Any room, every room, no matter the contents. He wants to get out of the hallway and explore. Each door is locked however. He dashes to and fro, jiggling knobs, trying to force the latch, peering under the door. No matter the effort, the door reveals nothing. And so he rushes to the next and repeats the process. After each door is exhausted he moves back to the beginning and tries again. Maybe one of the locks is open now? But again, the door reveals nothing.
Then I saw a man go and unlock a door and open it. But by this time the child has exhausted himself and can barely summon the energy and willpower to cross the threshold to the new experience.
I saw the same hall, the same doors, the same child. But the child was wiser. He did not rush from door to door but waited. He knew that the man would come soon and open a door. All the boy needed to do was wait. He cleaned the hallway, he made sure his appearance was in good order, he kept himself occupied, but he did not rush the process or over exert himself.
The man came, selected a door, and opened it. Joyfully, the boy entered the room.
The meaning of my vision is this: Do not try and be what are not yet. Let God make you what you will be. I know, the vision may have been clearer then those two sentences, but stay with me here.
If you believe that God has called you to (for example) be a missionary to China, don't jump on a plane to China tomorrow. (Sheet anchor here. If God tells you to jump on a plane to China Tomorrow, and you know it is God... Obey Him. This is not what I mean though.) Trying to be at the destination of your journey with out taking the journey robs the destination of any value, and actually hurts you by the time what God planned for actually catches up to you. You got out of sync with God's plan and must now deal with the consequences of your impatience.
Rather, grow in God. Do not ignore the call you have had, but know that hearing a call and meeting the call are two different things. When I hear that I need to go up to my CEO's office to work on a printer, I do not teleport to his office to do the work. I first create the ticket, if need be, and verify my info. What is the problem? Is this a problem I can currently fix? Do I have the tools I will need? Once my assessment is done I gather my tools and check my appearance. (Nothing like a note from the CEO disparaging my workplace attire...) I make sure that I am in accordance to the Handbook. Then I meet my call. I go to his office, I work the issue, and I (hopefully) resolve this issue. If I do not prepare before hand I run the risk of wasting his time, making a mess, causing frustration on his team as he cannot move forward while the "Fixer" is not able to fix things, etc.
Are you called to be a Missionary to China? Great! That is awesome! How is your walk with God right now? What fruit are you bearing right now? What seed are you planting right now? How are you right now? Don't focus on China. Focus on God... now.
Donita K. Paul wrote a lovely series of books about two young people in service to Paladin, the servant of Wulder, creator of the world. Often when the two protagonists would ask Paladin what they should do, seeing as the Pretender's schemes were causing so much trouble, Paladin would say something to the effect of "Focus on that which is right in front of you." When they did that, just that, their steps were led from where they were to where they heart was led to from the beginning. Wulder but the call in their heart, and they would pray and call on Wulder about the issue, but they put their hands to the task that was right in front of them. Even if that was simply more training.
To our hypothetical missionary, I in no way mean to downplay your call. It is a worthy and desirable thing that you are called to. But if you are applying to mission organizations and each one turns you down, and you wonder why God has called you but no one else seems to know it then consider that no one knows it because the call is right but the time is wrong. Take this time to minister to those who are right in front of you. I guarantee that there is someone there who can benefit. That person may even be you. When you and the time is ready, God will move and doors will open.
I recently heard a sermon about how some ministers in various realms try and promote themselves outside of the will of God. I.E. trying to fill a role that they may have legitimately been called to but the timing was not yet and leadership did not yet recognize the call. When the time is right and God is ready for you to meet the call, he will promote you. He will elevate you in the eyes of man. Yes, prepare for China now. Hope for China now. Pray for China now. Go when God opens the door, whenever that may be.
I pray that wisdom and discernment comes to you for what you are do to that is right in front of you. And that your heart is tender enough now to do it, and that your call is confirmed in your heart. Continue in Hope and Faith for your call, and nurture the ministry you have now.