Our conversation has been centering around this question of pursuit, and knowing that you know that you ARE called, ARE on God’s path, ARE listening to God’s direction for your life’s work.
It’s harder than it would seem. There is this defining moment where you KNOW that you KNOW. This is God’s Call to ME.
Get busy. Go love my sheep.
But then there’s the questions that pop us. Life situations stir up your angst. Time management and focus get trashed when you are busy pouring into folks with needs, and then you realize not only is your laundry not done, you’ve had frozen pizza or take-out Chinese for dinner again because you didn’t remember to start dinner before 8 p.m. You miss a birthday, a celebration, an “event” that you wish you had time to go to, but you are behind schedule and will miss it… (because you were busy loving and caring for God’s people…)
Then you serve on a ministry team and get, well, slammed. You don’t dress correctly. Or you don’t “act” like a pastor, whatever that means. You offer some well-intentioned advice to someone who comes to you for counsel, and get chewed out for butting in. And the people who seem to spend their waking hours letting you know that you shouldn’t “be” a pastor because they believe that the ministry is limited to one gender? Let’s not even go there…
Can we get delusional? Sure. But when I’ve been stubbornly choosing the stupid, God doesn’t drop peace in my lap… What I have seen recently is that in spite of change, and the fear of my next steps of faith… there is still that peace. Huge. God-sized. PEACE.
And when it’s hard, that’s what I hang on to. And I keep steeping myself in God, in the places where God soaks into my heart. You know – the places that you say – WOW. Hi! 🙂
But it is not in God’s nature to give the go-ahead for an obvious step towards ministry, and then slam the door shut.
HA!! PSYCH!! I didn’t mean it!
That’s not in character with the Shepherd that I want to emulate, the Leader I follow.
Sometimes, you pursue an open door because it’s there. And you think, “well, God may not want me to do this, but I am at least going to pursue it.” Sometimes you are being led, step by step, into a new ministry challenge, and you didn’t see it coming. You’re ready, deep down, to give it a go. God says “yes – GO!!” and yet there are doubts.
It’s a bit like making strong tea. You let it sit. You wait. You watch. You stir. You wait a little longer. And the fine, strong flavor comes out. Tea. Not brown water. And it all starts by getting into hot water…
So here I am… cooling on the counter… learning, growing, waiting… wanting to be as strong as I can be. I don’t manipulate or change the process, or pursue another path.
I’m meant to be strong tea. I trust the person who cooked this up… Because I’m not the One who made the plants to become… Strong tea.