Wednesday, May 4, 2011
However, not everyone cheered me on. I remember a public speaking contest I entered (during my high school days) where one of the judges questioned whether a girl should be an extemporaneous speaker. He was very negative, and his remarks stung me to the core. Undaunted, I continued to enter contests and won some awards for my efforts. Then, my high school principal told my parents that he did not think I could make it in college. He felt my math abilities were in question. Personally, I had to agree with that assessment to an extent, but I was determined to go on and prove that I could handle college level work. I graduated Magna Cum Laude pursuing the dream I had in high school. With a teaching certificate in hand, I thought I was destined to be a public school teacher, but God had other plans.
While in post graduate studies at Ohio State University, my fiancee and I became Christians, and that changed the course of our lives. We were married three months later, and I found myself working in public relations for several years while my husband studied his profession. Later, I did some radio broadcasting and worked in banking. I had done everything but teach.
When our family came along, I stopped all work activities in favor of being a stay at home mother. It was a blessing to have children and pour my life into theirs. In fact, God called my husband and I to teach our children at home. It was an unusual thing to do in those days and the very real prospect of having authorities challenge your right to do this was present. Despite this, we gave our time and effort for 21 years to this endeavor. It became clear to me that my training as a teacher was being put to use by God in ways I had not imagined. As Proverbs 16:9 says: "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."
I have shared this to point out the fact that we may have certain goals in our life that may change as the Lord directs us. At the time, we may wonder why on earth we ever went to college or why we are stuck in a certain position. This isn't what WE had in mind. Nevertheless, as Christians we do not belong to ourselves any longer but we belong to the Lord. Colossians 3:17 encourages us with these words: "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." This means whether we are worshipping the Lord, working at our day job or changing dirty diapers, we are to do it all for the glory of God knowing that it is He who has called us. We are where He wants us at this point in time.
Part of our problem is that we want to be at the destination now instead of enjoying the journey that God has set before us. We all know how it grates on the nerves of parents when their children ask over and over again, "Are we there yet?" Imagine how that sounds in the ears of God. Instead of embracing each moment of life that He gives us here and now, we are off worrying about tomorrow. Oh, what we miss when we fall into this trap.
Romans 8:28 sums up how God works in our lives: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose." He takes all the pieces, segments, training, gifts, talents, circumstances (good and bad) and makes them work together for His glory and our good. He knows our beginning from our end and He is the finisher as well as the author of our faith. He is writing the book of our life each day, and not a thing happens to us that He does not know about. God sees the big picture. We see only a small fraction.
Through all the many hats I have worn over the years, I have come to understand that God has given to me a gift of encouragement. It has been the thread that has been woven through every strand of my life. I know I am called to use that to be a blessing to others. It gives me joy and satisfaction like nothing else does when I can be used to help someone else. But God has given you a precious gift too! In fact, all who believe are given gifts by God to use for His glory and for the mutual blessing and edification of the saints. This is the call that rises above our occupation or circumstances. No matter where we find ourselves in life right now God can use us if we will do all for His glory using the gifts He has given us. If you do not know what your gift and calling is, just ask God. He will show you. It will be your passion and the motive that drives you. Once you recognize that gift, that passion, God will guide you in using it wherever you are at this time in your life.
What is your calling and passion? How is God directing your steps in life? I welcome your thoughts and ideas. Blessings!
P.S. Please visit "The High Calling" blog network. I have a button to the right here on my blog. It is a place where there are many writers who share wonderful articles on faith, family, and work. I participate there as well as a number of my blog friends.