Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Great Calling

When I was a kid I remember learning about missionaries that were called by God to go to these very remote locations to spread The Good News. From that very young age I remember the fear that if I “surrendered to the ministry” God would make me marry a preacher move to Africa. I remember that there was always some importance and mystery about this “calling” that only certain Christians had. I would like to say that I out grew these thoughts quickly, but I still had them into my early 20’s. I was still afraid of the preacher and Africa (mostly the preacher husband), but the thing I thought about the most was the calling. Would I be called? How would I know? When would happen?  I felt like being called was like being a member in this special secret club, and if this was an elite group of Christ followers I wanted in. (Without the preacher and Africa preferably) I wanted in more for what the club would do for me and less about what I was willing to do for God.

Now, many years later, things have finally changed. I no longer have a fear of being sent to Africa or marring a preacher. (I may even prefer the later) I recently was gifted a job with a local ministry. Before things were finalized I thought, “Is this the call? Am I finally surrendering?” I’ll be honest I didn’t feel any spectacular. I was excited, but I didn’t feel any different than when I accepted my job at the hospital. I didn’t feel any more pressure than normal. I didn’t feel a greater surrender. I still loved God. He still loved me, and my work was still his work. Of course I just accepted this new understanding. I never questioned “God are you sure they want me? Are you sure this is it? Did I surrender wrong?” Ok part of that last sentence is not true. I did have questions and I did have doubts.

This morning during a conversation (about a completely unrelated topic) that I had with HOH director she said something that made it all click. She said, “This is our Africa.” Insight filled my thoughts. There is no “special” calling. We are all called. Some people are called to faraway places, but the majority of us are called right where we are. We are called to our work places and our communities. We all are called to surrender our lives to God right where we are. This is the great calling and as Christians we are all accepted into the “special club” of the redeemed. What did all of this insight bring me? Gratitude! I am not be a preacher’s wife living in Africa, but I am right where He wants me to be. 

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:12