Last night, I met my pastor at Starbucks. We spent just over an hour talking about what it means to be called to the ministry. See, in the past few months, I've felt a strong calling to ministry. I envision myself right now as becoming a pastor, but God hasn't given me a clear, without-a-doubt dream. I'm very comfortable on stage and I thoroughly enjoy public speaking. I'm a very skilled writer, as surely you see on this blog. I absolutely love to read my Bible. I'm so passionate about the church. I have a huge heart for the persecuted church. I desperately want to work with a group of strong Christians all fighting for the same purpose. I spend hours each day listening to Christian music, from rock to pop to praise to rap to screamo. I love football and basketball, and really enjoy watching sports on TV. These are the obvious attributes about me right now. But I don't know what how that translates for the rest of my life. How can I know what I'll be when I "grow up" when I have so many areas of interest and skill! I could become a ESPN the Magazine writer, pastor, beat writer for a newspaper, missionary, youth pastor, music reviewer, ESPN blogger, anything! But how do I know which choice is right for me?
Charles Spurgeon, the late great preacher, said, "Do not enter the ministry if you can help it... But, if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man." I think that's how it works for all godly callings. If God wants me to preach, then I must preach or I'll die! If God wants me to become a missionary, then I must travel abroad and deliver the Good News or I'll die. If God wants me to become the sports or religion or music writer for a newspaper, then I have to write or I'll die. If I have that intense, all-absorbing desire to do a specific work, then that's what God wants me to do. So many people waste their talents and dreams because they chose a different career. I know of people who chose a different career because of money, and it ruined them. They became unhappy because they weren't doing what they were born to do.
I don't want to miss my dream. But I can't focus on finding my dream. If I worry or stress about it, I could actually miss it. If I just follow God step-by-step and trust in His guidance, I'm sure He will lead and direct me to the career I was born to have.