Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walk this Way

I've applied for so many jobs in the last week. I feel like I'm grasping at straws now- I know that's not what God wants. I'm trying to remember what it is that I want to do. As a friend and I spoke this week, I felt like my eyes were opened again, and my heart was touched. I told him about the transitions happening at work, and he commiserated, as he was going through a similar situation. I told him that I was wondering where God wanted me to go. He told me that God will use me wherever I am. "The Ministry will follow you wherever you go. And God will use you wherever you go. What are you interested in? What do you want to do?"

In looking through files from my old computer, I found this email, tucked away. Reading it made me cry. Thank you Ed....

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 11:35 PM
To: Pastor Ed
Dear Pastor Ed,
Thanks for college group- I wish I could have made it sooner! Sounds like Scooby Doo gave a sweet message. I really am bummed! I'm pretty intrigued in the Word and some stuff Scooby Doo brought up. I'm just really interested. Hm. I have a question for you though. Did you ever doubt becoming a Pastor? I've been thinking about it a lot, obviously with college and stuff, and just the way Scooby Doo was talking to me tonight. It helped me realize you don't have to be a pastor to be a witness or teach- and people have told me that SO many times- I can't even tell you. However, I really feel called to the ministry! I'm excited about it and my doubting seems to fade the second I ask God what he wants me to do. I'm excited He's totally provided a clear pathway, I just often think I don't have enough knowledge to be a pastor. I want to be able to, through Jesus, to teach people. About history and about the Word and about HIS life. But I feel as there is so much I don't know. This fact is truly pushing me forward, my interest, and the fact that I know that the Devil thrives and works in insecurities. But Pastor Ed- I really want to be a Youth Pastor. I just feel so unprepared. And thinking it's probably only 4 years away- it scares the cageebez out of me! Just wondering if you had any comments or helpful verses...
Thanks again,

II Corinthians 13:11
Be perfected; be comforted; be of the same mind; live in peace: and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Ed's Response:
You are in a great spot....uncertainty means you are humbled by what is before you and yet you are still feeling what you believe to be a pull or call on your life towards Ministry....You must walk this road and find confirmation...remember, it is the road less traveled but the people He calls are not better or more precious in His sight....we may actually be less talented, more fragile, not as able....but He calls us to show Himself Great @ Corinthians 4:1-9 (verses 4-7 are key)...Many Times the flashy, more talented, Well equipped person, stumbles over SELF & PRIDE...seeking to take the Glory That is due God......Don't you know SISTER (1 Corinthians 1:27-31) reminds us of God's plan.....

You will learn so much at Bible College that it will Boggle your mind....but the Bible is a lifelong pursuit of wisdom, knowledge, and you go through life.. different passages will take-on more meaning due to your life circumstance....on top of all that Your life experience is the biggest way that God prepares you....learn the lessons well, live with passion, never give-up...."Where God Guides, God Provides."   -Oh and by the way that is why I want you to intern so you can learn the behind the scene details of the ministry......when your are we......

Once I found the direction for ministry I went for it.......I felt God's confirmation along the way...and at times I just had to stick with it when He was silent...I figured if He changed the plan for my life He would tell when He seems silent it just means He is waiting as I complete what He has presented...then He will give me more direction....After I finished Bible College, and my engagement was off, and the real world was facing me....that was the make or break time for me....I could have gone in so many directions, and taken a different road for financial gain but even though at times I just drifted and wallowed in my pain God kept me....I continued to serve, I learned about myself (the ugly side)...self-pity, self-desire, how I handled pain, that I needed to "Take a Man Pill" and get on with was an intense storm that many get lost in after Bible college......I spoke with my friend about this the other day.....Bible college is sheltering, you experience God's Spirit everywhere, your studying His word constantly, Grace and Mercy are like oxygen, the teachers pour into you, your young and everything is so Black and white (idealistic), right and wrong are clear and it seems right is winning for that time......then it graduate, this is it right- what you have been waiting for...but life is different, living, expenses, relationships...all feel different because your done with start having less close friendships, life takes people in different directions, you have less free-time, and you long for going to campus to feel that one focus of God Only.....but it is sink or swim time....put up or shut up....all the money spent, all the hours, church people are saying what now....your the hope for the world right, the next generation of spiritual leadership to a dying and lost world!  Then it gets hard to find a ministry position (they want experience, but you need a chance to get that experience) especially one that pays...(it took me 3 years before the door opened for full-time minstry for me) so many work other jobs, some have school debt, some have seen the ugly side of church through internships and are not sure that they really want to be a pastor anymore....people can be mean and pathetic over stupid issues... it is more than a job it takes your whole life, they watch family's of pastors struggle for quality time, they see them get attacked, the pay is usually low, leaders are scrutinized unfairly, people may just not like someone's personality or giftings, or style.  They see this, they get caught into the trappings of the world, they let their quiet time  with God slip away, they forget God's is daily food, and worse than that they are faced with the knowledge of God's word and His call on them and they drift into settling for less.....they gave up on their dreams and it will haunt them...they say stuff like...everyone is called to serve, I don't need to be a pastor....but what they are saying is "How did I get here, what happened to me?"  -Why did I give-up the calling on my life?  Is all that I have now worth what I could have had in Following God's dream for me?  -Atleast, He loves me and I am saved by grace...(they are right about that) God does love His children, even when they choose their own way...and He will still bless them as only a loving Father can....But 007, to this moment I can say that I have continued to seek after that Call from long ago that said "walk this way"....I know I can still follow better but I have not given up the Dream of my Heart...The blessings are incredible and Totally undeserved!!!!!!  -But it feels so sweet to follow Jesus, to be used by Him, to be molded and shaped by the Master...and the Good People & families far outweigh the others who are just hurting and in need of love, & understanding...Now, I know that being God's Child is the sweetest thing of all (That's all a pastor needs to know).....and not giving up on His calling is a wonderful meal that few will taste....Oh, that I will finish the race and here Well Done!   -And so to you a fellow traveler I share these truths, these hidden obstacles....but you can not have My Joy!!!....that is for you to embrace on your own as you follow His calling...........Never Give-up, He will do the rest.....If or when you find yourself years from now saying "I am still here Lord" will know the simple, profound Joy of one little Pastor named Ed.........Blessings On Your Life       "Good is enemy of Great"  "Be Great 007"

I miss you Ed... thank you for speaking to my heart today. I needed it.

1 comment:

  1. Mason and I just read this together. He had such a clear view of church and ministry.