West Falmouth United Methodist Church Falmouth, Cape Cod, Methodist Church, Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors, UMC, Cape cod Methodist Church
|Dear Members and Friends,
Recently I spent some time with a woman who is feeling called to the ministry. I’ve known this woman for many years and was, in fact, her pastor at one time. One day we sat down to talk about it, and I said to her, Tell me why you think God is calling you to the ministry. I was very curious because in my opinion she has been in ministry most of her adult life serving inside and outside the church faithfully in many ways. She is very talented and very serious about her commitment to Christ.
As she began to tell me why she now feels called by God to become a pastor, she told me how the idea of entering the ministry kept coming to her despite her doubts as to her possible effectiveness. It was a thought that wouldn’t go away and that kept returning, even though there seemed to be reasons why she couldn’t or shouldn’t pursue it. As she tried her best to explain her thoughts and feelings to me, I said, it’s like a “haunting,” isn’t it? And she said, Yes, that’s a good word for it. I don’t know why that particular word came to mind, but it’s a word that would have fit my own feeling of call many years ago. If you look up the word “haunting” in the dictionary, you will find one definition as often recurring to the mind; not easily forgotten. I think that sometimes God does “haunt” us with thoughts, ideas, and feelings to encourage us to take the path God knows is best for us.
Theologian William Willimon asks some questions about who is really in charge of our life. He asks, What if while you are busy making your choices, God is also making choices? What if it’s not up to you to decide what to do with your life but rather the direction of your life is up to the God who created you? Going on he writes, I know that you think you are here (in church) this morning because you chose to be here. But what if you are here this morning because God put you here? What if the work that you are doing, you are not doing for yourself? What if the life you are living is not your own? What if you came here looking for light, here to worship the light of the world, Jesus, only to have Jesus commission you to be the light of the world?
I hope you will give these questions some thought. God will never force us to do something we don’t want to do, but I believe God will surely keep on encouraging us—haunting us—in particular directions not only because God loves us and wants what’s best for us, but because God needs us for the work of the Kingdom. As we enter the Lenten season, I pray God will haunt us with his love and his guidance, so that we will more than ever before surrender our lives to Him.
In Christ’s love,