There are moments when the reality of my call to the ministry is so overwhelming that I am brought to tears. The movement of the Spirit in the everyday moments of life is so beautiful that I cannot help but feel so small and so confounded by the way it floods my heart with light and hope. God calls out to a ministry of all believers, touching men and women of all kinds to the service of the church; and yet, there is, in the quietness of prayerful thought, a singular and deeply individual relationship that occurs for those who approach God in prayer and service. Some may ask, “How do you know that God exists?” I can only respond with, “How can you not know when the entirety of creation is so filled with possibility and wonder.”
The call to ministry is a direct tap on the shoulder, a whisper in the ear, from a living and seeking God. It is a call to surrender the trappings of a noisy and material world and to offer up a sacrifice of humility and service in their place. More often than not, I am filled with a sense of desire to remain humble, to serve God, and to continually seek out the wisdom and the courage to take one more step toward a new future and a renewed self. Yet, the call to serve the Church takes place in a very human world that is home to the frailties and the failings of our humanness. Humility is in conflict with a societal command to be the best and service is often overwhelmed by a reminder that only the strong can survive. Wisdom confronts a world of cynicism and courage is too often a slave to comfort. All of us know these conflicts and each of us has only the Grace of God to guide us through them.
There are days, moments, when the calling of God is a reminder of the immense and complex responsibility that awaits those who answer. The human self sees a mountain of work that still needs to be done while the spiritual self must learn to accept that only God can do it. What is a minister but a servant to something so much bigger and so much better than his or her self? Do we ever fully understand what is being asked of us? It is a question for all who follow Christ as each is asked to “shoulder up that cross.”
God’s world is a beautiful place regardless of our human attempts to control it, harvest it, or sell it. There is no greed greater than Grace and there is no brokenness more potent than Love. So, what is the work of people, the role of this ministry of all believers? Perhaps the answer is in the words of Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” It seems so simple, so straightforward, and yet…