“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” -Luke ( 25 (NIV)
In the fall of 1965 I completed the first grading period of my freshman year at Luther High School South in Chicago. Report cards (actually “books” that spanned all 4 years) were handed in in homeroom preceding the start of the school day. As my homeroom teacher handed me my grades, she calmly stated: “David, I know you can do much better than this.” Her words reflected my own disappointment. The transition from eighth grade to high school freshman had required major adjustments- different teachers/expectations for every class, a high school more than 4 times bigger than my grade school (Timothy Lutheran), going from the top of the ladder to the bottom rung. Yet future academic success necessitated disengaging the old and embracing the new.
We also face major adjustments in our personal, spiritual, and vocational lives as we transition from the upheaval of our ministry downsizing or vocation loss. Rather than tenaciously clinging to our previous understanding of God’s purpose for our lives- and in that process attempting to compensate for our own weakness- the healing journey to revisioning and revitalizing of God’s calling begins with reliance on His strength. The mass confusion that threatens to pollute God’s presence clears as we become intentional in looking beyond our problems and seek the face of Jesus.
Jesus’ compassion separates the strings of unforgiveness, worry, and desire for temporal justice that have been holding us down. We are reminded of the love of Jesus that has no end, even though we haven’t always sensed or acknowledged His love. Once lost in discouragement, we’re finally found in Jesus. Is now the time to disengage and embrace God’s continued calling in our lives?
“Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.” -Psalm 31: 16