I come from a family of ministers. My mom, my dad, a few aunts, uncles, cousins, my sister and my niece all professed to be “called” to the ministry at a young age. Even my daughter is leaving soon for a year to minister to others on the world stage of missions.
Me? Nope. Not me. If there’s one thing I’ve always known about myself, it’s that I was NOT called to be a minister. Being called to the ministry was something that happened to other preacher’s kids at summer camp. Not me. Many of my friends and family in ministry know God put this call on their lives. I never felt that way. Never had that still, small voice telling me to leave my nets and follow Jesus into the unknown throes of ministry.
When I was a kid, being “called” to the ministry meant you HEARD the call, and ANSWERED that call by attending Bible college or seminary, getting ordained as a pastor and leading a group of adults or families or youth or a choir in the day to day living out of faith. It was messy and challenging and involved being able to speak wisdom in front of a group of people.
I have to admit to being both envious of those who heard the call and relieved that I wasn’t one of them. Being a PK (pastor’s kid), I’d heard my share of messy stories and really couldn’t fathom being the one who would help out someone in that kind of need.
I don’t think kids now have this dilemma. If they grow up in a church, they are sent on missions trips out of the country or even in their own towns. Feeding the hungry, clothing the homeless, bringing hope to the hopeless. They are the hands and feet of Jesus. They LOVE like Jesus did. They don’t wait for a calling. They DO stuff.
But me? I wasn’t called. So I lived my life. I raised my kids. I taught them to love Jesus. I prayed for family members and friends. Even counseled a friend or two in a tough spot. I gave a sandwich to a beggar on the street. Gave a blanket to a cold homeless woman on a rainy night. Wait. What? That sounds suspiciously like ministry.
And so, at the ripe old age of fifty-something, I’m finally realizing I am called. Called just like you are called. In the trenches of real life. It’s still messy and challenging, but doesn’t necessarily involve being able to speak in front of a group of people. (Can I get an Amen?)
What it does involve is being available. Teachable. Willing to use your gifts to share the gospel.
Which brings us to today. LifeWordsToday, to be exact.
About a month before we ever began discussing the idea for this blog, I came upon a scripture – Psalm 49:3 “My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding.” I was compelled to write it on a card to keep in my Bible. Next to the verse I wrote, “3/12/13 = from God = (?about what?)”
A calling, perhaps?
What’s your calling?