Why am I waiting on God’s call? And what exactly do I mean by “God’s call”? I’ll answer the second question first and the first one second.
The call I am waiting for is a call to ministry.
I began my professional teaching career this past September at Penson School in Grovedale, teaching Jr. High social studies, P.E., Health, and some option courses. It was not too long at all before I became acutely aware of a strong desire within me to leave teaching and make the edification of Christians my life’s primary concern. I imagine it taking one of (or some combination of) three things; teaching, preaching, and/or music; all of which I am very passionate about.
While these desires are a most welcome evidence of God’s saving grace at work in me, they also caused me some grief initially. Here the Lord so graciously provides for my new wife and my new son in our new house with this job, and I start it only to find myself desperately wanting something different. It was in November when I first started talking with Bev about going to seminary the following year, and by Christmas I had even picked which seminary I would apply to and how we would get by financially. I wanted it pretty bad.
And I still do! But I have dropped my plans for attending seminary next September, and the next, and the next. I am committing that to the Lord.
What has kept me from going forward has been a deep mistrust of self. Very deep. I learned a few years back that my heart was nothing worth following and the last thing I should trust; it is an idolator of the worst order. I am an I idolator of the worst order. And so when students give me attitude, or when I am fatigued, or when I am begrudging the effort that my job requires of me, my heart starts to wander to thoughts of seminary and preaching and evangelizing. All good things, absolutely; but are my desires pure? I have never been able to say yes.
The second reason is an equally deep conviction that the FIRST thing necessary for success in any Christian ministry is to be called to it. If the omniscient God, in his perfect wisdom has chosen a particular individual for a particular task, then be assured that he is the man for the job; he and none other. For God is able to do all things; in his omnipotence he shall see his appointed man through whatever obstacles may arise and provide anything the task may require of him. In contrast, a man who enters into a matter without being certain (or worse, having no clue at all) whether God has actually chosen him for that task will find himself working apart, if not even against the will of God. In these cases, failure is the greatest grace one can receive; for to successfully work either against or apart from God is a dreadful thing.
You see now why I am still a Jr. High teacher. And why I have dropped all plans to attend seminary. It is because I have not been called.
Not yet anyway. I’ll just have to wait and see 🙂