As I was approaching the celebration of my thirtieth birthday I was facing a emotional and spiritual crisis. At that point I had been the pastor of a church for almost five years in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Would I continue to be a pastor? Would I pursue a different career?
For months I struggled with my calling. Was I called to be a pastor for a season? Was I called to do this for a lifetime?
One day I was reading my Bible and encountered these words:
“…for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).
Over the years, the settings of my role as a “pastor” has migrated from the pulpit in an institutional church to the streets with the homeless, to hospital rooms and homes of the dying, to the cells of the imprisoned and most recently to the group homes of the seriously mentally ill. A few months ago I was beginning to wonder if I would continue working with seriously mentally ill. Robert, a co-worker who shares my year of birth, remarked, “How can you keep your gift from people?”
It isn’t about a career, it is about vocation; not about a making a living, it is about changing lives.
Ronald Friesen © 2015