“Who is calling, please?”
Remember life before there was such a thing as Caller ID?
We just blindly answered the phone whenever it rang, trusting that the person on the other end was someone we knew. It never occurred to us that it might be a stranger trying to scam us or sell us something we didn’t need.
Today things are different. If a name does not appear on the screen when my phone rings, it automatically gives rise to my suspicious nature.
I instantly wonder; “Scammer? Telemarketer? Wrong number?”Because it is almost never my long-ago high school buddy who just happened to be in town for a convention and wanted to have dinner and catch up on old times.
A call is especially unnerving – I’ve discovered – when it comes from God.
The bible backs me up on this; it is replete with stories of people who ran AWAY when God called (Jonah), who were suspicious when God called (Gideon), who dug in their heels and flat refused (Moses), and even one who was so hard-headed he had to be hit upside the head with a big ol’ bolt of light (Paul).
It took a whole lot of persuading back in 1997 to finally convince me that God was indeed calling me into the ministry. I was – after all – not a young guy by any means. Besides which I already had a good job, and had already seen the trials and tribulations my father went through when he answered the call to ministry later in life.
“Sorry… wrong number,” I wanted to say. “Not interested.”
But wiser friends and family members prevailed and persuaded me to take that call.
So now here I am… 20+ years later, preparing to leave professional ministry altogether… and find myself asking the whole “calling” question all over again.
I wonder: is God still calling me?
Actually, I’m pretty sure the answer to this one is “Yes indeedy, Gomer. If God can call Abram at the age of 75, God can most surely call you at your tender age of 67.”
But if that is true, I am still curious about what God might be calling me TOexactly?
I know the call is notto golf course ministry. I made sure of that by selling my golf clubs in our recently-completed garage sale.
I am pretty sure my call is not to a life of Netflix binge watching and bon-bon eating, or gardening and telling the neighbor kids to “Get off my lawn!” That just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing God would have a hard time finding volunteers for. (Incidentally, what isa bon-bon exactly?)
I know part of my new vocation will involve spending more time with Joan, more time with grandchildren, more time in creative pursuits, and more time experiencing the wonders of this big blue marble.
But still… what do you do with a guy who still has health (knock wood!), a passion for Jesus, a willingness to speak up and speak out and very soon a WHOLE lot of new time on his hands?
Surely there is something God can do with all of that isn’t there?
In the meantime, pass the sunscreen, please.