Random Thoughts on Calling

Well, today was my first official weekday at home since I submitted my resignation as youth minister a few weeks ago. Being asked to resign shook me up pretty bad, and since that time, I’ve done a lot of thinking about calling. I’m not sure yet exactly what to think about it all right now but, here are some of the random thoughts I’ve been having. Feel free to add your thoughts to the mix.

When God calls you to something, does he necessarily call you forever? I feel very strongly that I was called to youth ministry almost a decade ago and I always assumed that was a lifelong call. However, I also feel like I was called to both of my last churches and those calls were only for a certain period of time. Could my call to youth ministry also be for a particular period of time after which I will be called to do something else?

Sometimes calling feels like a cage. Sometimes when somebody reminds me that I’ve been called to youth ministry, I hear, “You are stuck doing youth ministry until you drop over dead, whether you like it or not.”

There are times when I know that I was made to do what I’ve been doing. Yesterday night, my last youth service at FBC, was a really tense, emotional time for me until I stepped up on the stage to speak. When I preach, I’m in my zone. The tension vanished and I preached. I love preaching.

It’s easy to look at your future options when you feel like God is saying, “Do this.” It’s much more complicated when he says, “Look at the gifts and talents I gave you. Listen to the desires I placed within you. Now, what do you want to do with these things?” I’m not sure which method he uses more often. I definitely feel like I’ve had those “do this” moments, but I’m not sure that’s the way it always works.

I do believe that God has a plan for each of us, I’m just not as sure that he always lets us in on it. If God gives a direct “go” or “stop”, you should definitely listen, but I think sometimes, he’s a lot more subtle, drawing on your own talents and desires to show you his will.

Am I done with youth ministry? Probably not. I still feel called to reach out to young people, but I’m not sure exactly how that’s going to look.

25 Random Things About Me

From my Facebook notes

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person/people who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “Notes” in the tab section on your Profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right-hand corner), and then click publish.)

1. When I was in kindergarten, I used to tell people that I wanted to be a paleontologist, both because I thought dinosaurs were cool and because it was fun to impress people with the big word that I knew.
2. I currently have 9,276 songs on my iPod from every genre imaginable.
3. I can eat an entire bag of Doritos in one sitting and only feel a little guilty about it.
4. I’ve always been a fan of the 60s and 70s, but I’ve recently started developing a kind of nostalgic infatuation with the 1980’s, the decade of my childhood
5. I wrote a weekly op-ed column for my hometown newspaper throughout my senior year of high school and I still have most of the articles on my laptop.
6. I meet Alanna the summer before my senior year in high school and knew I was going to marry her long before graduation came.
7. I love designing graphics for the youth group. It’s the perfect mix of computer geekiness and my artsy side.
8. Being a dad is really a lot of fun.
9. Being a dad means that other people’s bodily functions frequently take center stage in my day-to-day life.
10. I really enjoy trying new foods… I actually occasionally get hungry while watching Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel.
11. I’m one of the few guys I know that likes taking personality tests. Maybe that’s part of my personality (INFP, phlegmatic).
12. I tend to overthink things… it’s taking me a long time to finish this list!
13. My wife is smarter than me, but I’ve come to accept that.
14. When I was in high school and college, most of my close friends were girls.
15. Ben makes me laugh at least a couple of hundred times a day. He loves to dance.
16. I love being a youth minister. I feel like I’m still figuring out how to do it as I go along, but I love getting to hang out with the youth and getting to know them.
17. I stay up late most nights after everyone else in the house is asleep working on stuff for church or just playing video games.
18. I like scary movies although it’s been a while since I’ve found one that actually scared me.
19. I just spent $20 on a pound of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee while I was in the The Bahamas and I feel like that was a great deal. I’m definitely a coffee snob.
20. I’ve worked in three different coffee shops (Bubba’s Bagels, Panera Bread, and Grounds and Sounds) and that’s what made me into a coffee snob.
21. I have a weird sense of humor that tends to come out more when I’m writing than when I’m talking.
22. Family meals at my parents’ house are big fun. Everyone’s cracking jokes and laughing so much that it takes forever to eat.
23. I was an English minor in college. I really love writing and wish I would do it more often, but I can’t spell to save my life.
24. I know nothing about sports. Seriously. Last year I forgot that the Super Bowl was happening.
25. When I was younger I wanted to be like Jim Carrey so I practiced making goofy faces in the mirror… now I’ve got Ben doing it with me!