I haven’t gone into full blown “freak-out mode” over the fact that I’m less than four weeks from moving my family to a new town with no source of income. Part of that is my personality, most of that is Jesus.
Even though I am going crazy yet, it has been weighing on me some. I’ve never doubted (yet) that I’m doing what God wants me to do and I’m leading my family in the right direction (the hardest times so far are when my 5-year-old cries about leaving), but I still need encouragement and affirmation. I got some today.
My boss is a man that I greatly respect and admire. He was in the ministry as a pastor for many years before he came to work at the university. Even though he is older, he “gets it” when it comes to ministry. He also went to seminary later in life with a family and children, much the same way I am. So I appreciate and value his input about my journey.
A few weeks ago, I asked him what he thought I should do ministry-wise. He said, “What are you passionate about?” He explained that too many pastors and people in ministry are miserable doing what they do because they are not following the passions that God has given them.
I thought about it for awhile, prayed over it and thought I had come up with my answer. I told him this morning that I had an answer to his question. I went on to tell him that my passion was teaching. I viewed everything as a means to that – preaching, writing, etc. where just avenues by which I could impart God’s truth to people.
He said, “I’m glad to hear you say that without it coming from me. That is where I see you. I think you have a gift for teaching.” He went on to encourage me in the path ahead, saying it will be difficult with a wife and small children to pursue all the needed degrees for that calling. If that continues to be where I feel God leading me, I will have at least 6 or 7 more years of school to go with a M.Div and then a Ph.D. He even said he sees me coming back to be a professor where I work now. I’ve often thought about that, so possibly God is affirming even that thought.
It was just encouraging to have someone I respect in the ministry see a gift and passion in me that I thought was in there as well. That doesn’t give me a paycheck next month, but I think I needed that long term more than the financial side of it. Encouragement in my calling is much more valuable than money, I just wish I could pay my rent with it.