Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Holy Conversations: Jesus and calling

Today's post is part of an ongoing conversation that takes place online at Facebook's Holy Conversations Book Group and at First Lutheran Church in Jamestown NY. Please feel free to join us for group on Thursday at noon(Wednesday's after Easter),leave your comments below, or click on the hotlink provided to share your thoughts as well. As always, thank you for participating and reading.

Psalm 37" 1-4...
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
for they are like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land of and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."

When I used to read this Psalm, I used to read the theme as ..."live a good life, and God will give you what you want."

But on further reflection, the message I think has more to do with surrendering our lives to God and he will place his desire/perspective within my heart.

This is a much different point of view than I first had understood. This week, our focus is on ways Jesus has fulfilled our longings. What has been your experience with this?

Some may say this question is about calling or purpose, but how has your faith and relationship with Jesus affected your longings in life? Do you feel you are aware of your calling/purpose? How have you gotten in touch with that purpose or calling and how has Jesus impacted that process?

A few years ago, I found myself in a place where my vocation did not match up my heart's desires in my vocation. My situation was full of conflict, struggle and eventually great discouragement. After a few years of attempting to make what wasn't working to work, I was about at the end of my rope.

I recall sitting in my office and being shocked as the words, "You won't be here for long." bounced into my mind with such heaviness, that I stopped what I was doing and looked around as if I'd heard it with my ears. There was no one there, but the heaviness and burden I'd been carrying came out as I sat there crying and saying, "Ok Jesus - so where am I going?"

I was relived, worried, excited but totally unsure of the 'where' in this moment of what I think to this day was God's tap on my shoulder that cold January morning.

Did I get the job of my dreams the next week? Did I find all my problems magically disappear overnight? No, no I didn't.

But somehow in that experience, I had a resolve that God had a bigger and better plan. Even in the midst of what ended up being one full year more in an increasingly difficult circumstance, I was reminded again and again of that morning that God gave me my promise of another option. My purpose was not limited like the vision of those surrounding me at that point, my purpose was as open and limitless as God's point of view. God's purpose was now my defining point of view!

Over that year, circumstances came to be that slowly worked through the necessities of what I needed to move on to a new opportunity in calling and vocation. I struggled during especially during the last few months of that placement, especially since I had hoped to already have made the transition into a new opportunity. But even in all my fretting - God was, in the presence of the trinity - with me.

Finally that year of wondering, waiting and waiting some more passed and I moved on to a new place and opportunity in mission and ministry that opened up the channels of creativity that I thought had been removed from my life permanently.

Often we dream that the grass is always greener on the other side of things, and in this case it was green, but as any situation it was not perfect. However, I cherish the two years I did serve in that position as I feel it was confirmation on God's calling in my life in many ways.

I was reminded of God's grace, comfort, miracles, challenge, and hope. I was given the freedom to exercise my creative muscles and grew in so many ways. I'm thankful to God for that tap on the shoulder that morning in my office as I was checking my email. I thought it was a normal day. It was in many ways, but what made it unique was God's way of reaching down to me in the statement, "You won't be here for long."

Those words taught me to cherish each 'normal' day, and live expectantly for what adventure God has just waiting around the corner!

1 comment:

Libby said...

Tara, I used to take great solace in this psalm when I was in middle school. I took it to mean that the "mean girls" I had to deal with at the time (popular girls, many of them friends) would not always be in such a place of power. I think that your interpretation about God changing our hearts is very insightful and more appealing to the adult me, but I was happy to see good old Psalm 37 referenced because it took me back to my younger self clinging to it in 7th grade. God's word is for all people at all times.