Friday, May 21, 2010

John Calvin and Calling: An Absolute Truth?

Theologian John Calvin once wrote: “And surely we may then safely triumph over our enemies when we are assured of having the call of God to the office which we hold, or the work in which we are engaged."

I don’t claim to be a Calvinist but as I was reading this (as difficult and wordy as his writings are); it leapt off the page at me. As far as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with God’s call in my life. When I entered college I was dead set on graduating with a youth ministry degree. This became my goal due to an influence by my own youth pastor. Prior to entering college my youth pastor told me she received a word from God regarding my future. Now she never claimed to be a prophet, or have the gift of prophecy enabling her to speak a word into lives, having it unequivocally come to pass 100% of the time. One of the things she shared was God wanting me to graduate with a youth ministry degree.

Fortunately, that part came to pass – but with some struggle. More then once, I questioned God’s call on my life to go into youth ministry. Every time that calling came into question, God confirmed that I was in the right place completing an appropriate call on my life. As I continue to follow God’s leading, I question Calvin’s above statement.

In a recent job interview, I was asked by the potential employer, after spending nearly a decade getting my degree, why I’m not pursuing a career as a youth minister. I responded by saying, since graduating, I feel a need to work within the disability community. Expanding on that thought I feel the need to use my gifts to bless them, and help usher them into God’s kingdom.

With this “change in calling,” on my mind I wonder if Calvin’s statement is absolutely true. That is, 100% true 100% of the time. Evaluating my current place in life, I find myself in a place where Calvin’s thoughts on God’s calling could be true. I’m currently involved in two churches. One works with the disability community helping to Guide them into God’s Kingdom. The other place of worship is in need of a youth minister and is a venue to exercise my years in Bible College and training in youth ministry.

After much prayer and considering where my walk with the Lord has led me, to date I don’t have an answer and wonder if I ever will. One thing is certain. I do feel a need to work with both churches and that I have the blessing of God to do both. Still doubt occasionally creeps in and I wonder if I’m double dipping running the risk of burning the candle of both ends, or if this is INDEED God’s way of saying: “Hey Tim, do both!” If experience has taught me anything this struggle with my calling will be ongoing.

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