One of the things that all people seek is the “right path” for their lives. My grade twelve students are hitting it head-on right now as they make their plans for future career paths and any related schooling which may be required. How do you balance what you enjoy with what will pay the bills? From an early age people ask us what we want to be when we grow up? And who among us has not at one time or another wondered if our parents had us by accident? As Christians we have the added dimension of calling. What is it God has planned for us? For what use were we given our particular talent set?
If you doubt that people are looking for this calling, Google search for Rick Warren. His book The Purpose Driven Life has been translated into 50 languages and has sold some 25 million copies. Along with the phenomenal success of his book, Warren has trained 400,000 ministers in his Purpose Driven Church strategy. The topic of the first 7 of 40 chapters in his book? “What On Earth Am I Here For?”
In my case, I basically fell into my current career. Early in junior high I planned to grow up to be a minister. In grade nine I decided I was going to go to Mt. Allison to take music and education. I wanted to be just like my junior high band teacher. I did go to Mt. Allison for a university degree in music, but by then I was certain that I would not be teaching school! I didn’t even like kids! Twenty-five years after graduating I am looking at retiring from teaching in six or seven years.
Even as I was in the midst of this career I still felt called to ministry. I began doing pulpit supply work around eight years ago, and five years ago actually applied for a position as university chaplain. When I did not get that position I took it to mean that, for the time being at least, I was doing what was intended. That may have been too simplistic a view, but the years since have been some of the most satisfying of my career.
I feel my life experiences have uniquely prepared me to teach my courses on family and child development (I haven’t taught music in years) and to work to further justice and positive climate in my school. I also believe that all of this is still preparing me for ministry within the church.
According to the PCC pamphlet, “Am I being called?” “The primary vocation of all Christians is to be in relationship with God through Christ. We delight in God’s gracious love and respond in praiseand gratitude. As the Shorter Catechism says, “Our chief end is to glorify and enjoy God forever…For most Christians, their primary arena for exercising their vocation is in the world and the exercise of their vocation in the church is in a voluntary capacity.” Whatever your vocation, may the Spirit of God guide you in your work.
For more about Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life go to rickwarren.com
For more on calling to ministry with Presbyterian Church in Canada check out this link http://www.presbyterian.ca/files/webfm/ourresources/mcv/Am%20I%20being%20called%20for%20web%20booklet.pdf