Tag Archives: Lord’s calling

Keep On Walking

We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle. ~Mahatma Gandhi

I was struggling to get to the end of the year.  It had been a class of crazy girls and my last nerve was shot.  I told a fellow teacher what was going on and that I wasn’t sure if I could get to the end of the term. She wondered whether we would be allowed to use the laminator next year.

We were both on a mission, but not the same one.

In Mark 8, Jesus tells his disciples that he is going to suffer and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law. Not only will he be rejected by those in power, he is going to be killed.

Peter takes him aside and says stop talking like that; it’s not good for morale.

Then in chapter 9, Jesus tells his disciples again that he is going to be handed over and killed.

Their response? Which one of us is the greatest, perhaps next in line?

In chapter 10, they are on their way up to Jerusalem. Jesus explains again that he will be handed over to the leaders to be condemned, mocked, flogged, and killed.

James and John ask for the thrones to the right and left of Jesus. Power, they want power.

Jesus was surrounded by distracted and oblivious friends. He was telling them the mission God had given him, and they responded with their own interests and concerns. They weren’t listening, weren’t interested, weren’t capable . . . whatever is was, they weren’t.

What is the path God has placed you on?

Are you headed toward an overseas adoption surrounded by people who want to know why you don’t adopt domestically?

Are you moving your mother in with you while others show you pamphlets of nursing homes?

Are you buying a house on the “bad” side of town to serve others, while your friends leave crime stats on your seat at church?

Jesus continued walking uphill to Jerusalem, knowing his fate, knowing he wasn’t supported, knowing no one else understood – knowing God had placed him on that path.

God places each of us along the road to Him. Our route doesn’t look like anyone else’s, except for the potholes and obstacles. Jesus kept right on walking around them.

We are called to do the same.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:9-12 ESV

Fresh Bread Obedience

“I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you.”  ~Annie Dillard

I used to read The Little Red Hen to my Kindergarten students.

You probably know the story. The hen wants to make bread, but first she has to put the work into it. She asks for help, but everyone has other things, better things, to do.

It didn’t take long for my students to catch on to the repetition: “Not I,” said the dog. “Not I,” said the cat. “Not I,” said the duck. “Then I will,” said the Little Red Hen, and she did.

And then the bread is ready to eat.

“And who will eat the bread?” asks the Little Red Hen.

You know the answer; don’t you?

How many of us are the dog, cat, or duck? The bread smells wonderful, but the sweat that it takes stinks.

You know what it is going to take to help that single mother- your free nights turned into babysitting, your extra cash spent buying kids’ underwear and socks, your family Thanksgiving expanded to “outsiders”.

Or what about that college kid that seems so lost? You just got your own kids out of the house, but here is this one needing laundry, meals, rides to the pharmacy.

Maybe your story is an older neighbor who needs their lawn mowed, leaves raked, a hot meal, a sidewalk shoveled. He sits in the dark, a glowing television his only companion.

Genesis 11 and Joshua 24 gives us just a hint about what might have been.

Abram’s father, Terah, gathers together his family and sets off for Canaan, but they stop in Harran. Abram is with his father for 135 years before Terah dies. Joshua 24 tells us that Terah worshiped other gods.

Somewhere along the way, Terah didn’t do the work. Was he the intended one for the Promised Land? Was God asking him to begin a new nation? Did God instruct Terah, only to lose him to other gods?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that Terah never saw Canaan- the land of future promise. He never got to eat the bread.

It was given to someone who was willing to put in the work.

Has God called you to work?

What is your answer?

28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered. Matthew 21:28-31 NIV

Prejudice: Answering the Call

tree-402953__180I am often dismissive of what people do for a living. I admire social workers because they get paid to help people, something I enjoy doing. I don’t, however, think as highly of baristas and waiters because they are just convenience workers, even though they are helping me.

I think people who are gifted at mathematics and science are especially smart, and I am in awe of them, but the first time I had a coach in high school teach an academically challenging course, I have to say I was doubtful. How could a PE teacher be smart enough for that? And I remember the first time I realized that my brother-in-law, the sports trainer, was intelligent. It just hadn’t occurred to me that he would be. I remember discussing a book with him and then actually saying, “So you’re really smart?” with great shock. Sorry, Mark.

A little over a year ago I met some friends for lunch. One was telling us that her daughter was thinking about studying theater when she goes to college. We all laughed and commented on her waitressing abilities. It was fully assumed that theater is a nice sideline or hobby, but it is not a career worth pursuing.

Another friend at the luncheon was deeply hurt because her own daughter is already a theater major. Certainly she is not under the delusion that it will be easy to make a living, but following the lead that the Lord provides is obedience, not foolhardiness.

God calls each of us to a different part of the world. We each have the same mission – Bring God Glory – but he asks us to do it in different ways and through different mediums. To choose a job only because it will make a lot of money, or win the respect of others, or make you famous, is to dishonor God.

In our family we joke that we have a preacher, an author, an artist, and a hippie environmentalist. No wonder we aren’t planning to retire.

But before you laugh too hard or shake your head in American materialistic haughtiness, look a little closer. All four of us are attempting to stay true to the calling of our Master, Lord, and Savior. In each of our situations we try to bring beauty and hope to a world of dark despair.

Perhaps you laugh, so does God Almighty, Creator, Artist Extraordinaire, Originator of Words, Grandiose Gardener, Flawless Farmer. . . the laughter of pride, love, and joy. Stand firm in that knowledge.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman