B4 Lent begins, the SS (sacred scriptures) ask us this week to CONSIDER ANEW God’s call in our lives and OUR RESPONSE to it.
Last 2 weeks: theme….mission, call, purpose. What is ours?
This week: what is God’s CREATIVE INITIATIVE doing within each of us?
Are we bored, tired, burnt, listless, lost, seeking, searching? …don’t fret! Maybe God is using this time…working in us THROUGH these things to creatively call us deeper into life and living…. (Peter, cast your nets on this side….deeper water…)
Indian convert to Xtianity, Sadhu Singh (d. 1929) travelled throughout Tibet preaching the “good news” of salvation. He encouraged three things:
- discern God’s call in your life
- work tirelessly
- serve the needs of all God’s people (in that calling).
He tells this story:
A rich man had a son who enjoyed spending time in his dad’s garden. It was beautiful. The son watched as the birds came….and ate up all the fruit. He watched as the cattle came and trampled all the plants and ate them. The son SAW but DID NOTHING. People asked the son, “Is it right to see your father’s garden trampled and destroyed AND DO NOTHING? The son said, “My father hasn’t asked me to do so, so that is not my work.” The father grew angry with the son and sent him away.
…There is NO SPECIAL OR AUDIBLE VOICE that we necessarily hear….but only the needs of those around us that CONSTITUTE A CALL TO GOD’S SERVICE. The son’s attitude was “it’s not my job! …not in my job description…” It was a mentality of looking at what we do in life as a job RATHER than as a RESPONSE to God and the needs of God’s people….that is CALLING! That is mission! That is purpose!
It’s about our surrendering to God’s CREATIVE INITIATIVE working in us and our subsequent RESPONSE. God uses all kinds of opps (like being bored, tired, burnt, listless, lost, seeking and searching) to create new opps for greater AND DEEPER mission and purpose. This is CALLING, not just job.
God was calling Isaiah…again! To something more! He knew the enormity of his task and his own shortcomings but TRUSTED in God and GAVE HIMSELF OVER to the task ahead.
Paul to the Corinthians tells how God called him 2B transformed…(Saul to Paul/persecutor to preacher of the Good News!)
Peter, James and John…were willing to “let go” of what they knew well and listen to the carpenter/itinerant preacher’s word…allowing it to supersede logic and their lifelong experience…and then “put out into the deep” DARE, TRUST and BE REWARDED with a “big catch.”
Thoughts for the Week
- How is God calling you/me “to go deeper in life?” How’s God calling us to something new?
- Where are we experiencing any restlessness in life…(job, relationship, being sick and tired of being sick and tired? Maybe God’s moving here….
- Where have we become like the son in the garden? ….doing nothing when there is a need…just punchin in the time clock in life…
- What are the needs of those around us that can motivate/inspire us to do something/to serve/to find our mission, purpose, calling?
- As we continually re-evaluate our mission, call and purpose (as a vocational RESPONSE to God), where can we, like Isaiah, say: “Here I am Lord. Send me!”