Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The spectacular now

When you are seeking a ministry calling it can feel like a not-so-spectacular time in your life. That is why this blog is called "The Wilderness Time."  Even if you are fully employed, you no longer feel called to remain in your current situation. That does not mean, however, that God does not have work for you to do.

A few weeks ago I preached to a congregation that is between pastoral leaders. My sermon, based on a passage in which God speaks through Jeremiah about the Babylonian exile,  was called "Bloom where you are planted." (You can check out my blog entry for that Sunday, which includes an inspirational video, here.)

God tells the Israelites to "seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile." Did you catch that? God says the Israelites have been put into exile by God. Even if you feel strongly called to change your current job situation, it is also important to remain mindful that God has important work for you to do right now--even if you are unemployed, underemployed or in a position that you feel you have outgrown.

I was reminded of this as I looked over my job references today. Many of them spoke of how they had initially come into the church where I served during a time of personal crisis and I had ministered to them and helped shepherd the through their crisis and into a better life. Yeah, it makes a Pastor feel good to read testimonials of this nature, but there is a larger message. God has work for you to do in whatever situation you find yourself. In fact, you may be having trouble moving on precisely because you have not completed the work that God has for you in your current situation. On some level you may be having trouble letting go and moving on, and as a result you may send subtle signals that sabotage your job hunting efforts. That idea may be hard to accept. It may even make you angry to hear me say that, but it happens to the best of us. It has happened to me. Asking God searching questions such as, "Why am I in this situation?" or even praying the prayer of Samuel: "Here I am, Lord. Send me," can help you gain clarity and refocus your efforts in a more productive way.

Someday you may look back on the time you are in right now and recall it with great pride and a sense of accomplishment. You may see that the seeds of your greatest achievement were planted during a time you spent that felt like the years the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness, searching for the promised land and and begging God to tell you why everything that is happening to you is happening, and how long it will last.  Someday you will know why the time lasted as long as it lasted.
I blog, therefore I am. If you liked this post and want some food for thought about church ministry, check out If you or anyone you know is looking to hire a new Pastor, check out my professional profile blog at
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