Monday, February 13, 2017

“I believe there's a calling for all of us. I know that every human being has value and purpose. The real work of our lives is to become aware. And awakened. To answer the call.” ― Oprah Winfrey

Christ has never called anyone to a life of ease and comfort and pleasure, but He has called people from lives of ease and comfort and pleasure.  Christ has never called anyone to a life that is focused solely on itself, but He has called people who were focused solely on themselves.  Christ has never called anyone to a life that only looks inward and never outward, but He has called people who were only focused inward and asked them to look outward.   Christ has called many to lives of sacrifice and suffering in the service of others, and He has called people who were already suffering and sacrificing and asked them to do more.  Christ has called many to focus on the needs of others—the hungry, the poor, the wretched, the homeless, the orphans, the sick, the needy.  Christ never called anyone to be abjectly poor or to be extremely rich, but He has called and is calling all to give of whatever blessings they have received.  Here’s what may be the news you didn’t want to hear:  Christ is calling you.  He is not using your cell phone where you can reject His call or turn off your phone.  He is not calling you on Facebook where you can hide the post or unfriend Him.  Christ is calling you by putting real needs in front of you that you have the skills and abilities to address.  When we first came to Tanzania, God showed us the little orphans who needed a better education and the older children who needed to learn English.  Karen saw that need immediately and knew that she could fill it.  I saw a church that needed leadership, that had no seminary educated pastors and many lay pastors who needed training—and desperately wanted it.  I knew I could fill that need, so here we are, still doing what we were called to do in spite of the obstacles placed in our way.  If what we were doing was not God’s work, I don’t think we’d have had all those obstacles, but Christ never said that answering His call would be easy—only that it would be worth it.  All around each of you are needs that Christ knows that you can fill, if you will but see them, recognize them for what they are, and acknowledge that you, yes you, can change the lives of Christ’s children if you will but answer His call.  Christ will never force anyone to follow Him, to answer His call, to serve those in need, but He will keep putting situations in your path that hopefully one day you will recognize as Him calling you.  You will find that there is no greater joy than answering that call—once you see it.  Not one of you is without the gifts (reread the parable of the talents) that Christ needs you to use.  Not one of you will be unable to do what Christ asks of you.  As the old saying goes, Christ does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.  Your decision, and it is one that will affect others, is simply this: do you see Him calling you, and how will you answer?  The choice is always yours, but the joy, the comfort, the strength, the wisdom, all these await you.  God will never abandon you once you respond to His call.  Rather, He will give you all the blessings and support you need to carry out the work He has set for you.  Many of you already know the incredible blessings of saying “yes” to God.  I’ve put a link to a Methodist hymn below that I hope you will click on to hear what so many have already heard.  God bless you as you choose to open your eyes and hearts to Christ.
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