Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ummm...Could you repeat that?

I have a problem. A BIG problem. I think I may have mis-heard God.

I've been wondering recently what it means if you are called to ministry and then you can't find a job. What does it mean if you've heard the call, been confirmed in that call by your community, gone through a rigorous process to clarify your vocation, and then stepped out the doors of your seminary degree in hand to confront.......nothing? Does it mean God has had a change of heart? Does it mean God has given up on you and moved on to bigger and better things? Does it mean that you've missed some essential "call-window" during which you were supposed to secure a position? Was this whole thing just a big misunderstanding? (As my Judaism professor loves to say, "There is no difference between saying 'God spoke to me in a dream' and saying 'I dreamed God spoke to me.'")

Then it hit me....What if I misunderstood? What if, in my excitement about hearing direction from God, I mis-heard. What if God really said:
"MS.LOVE-IT-OR-LEAV-IT..................I CALL YOU TO...........DENTISTRY!"

Sounds a lot like ministry, does it not? If this is the case, I'm going to need to get off this theological education train STAT and start working on getting to know my molars a little better... Anyone out there got any dental hygienist positions open?


  1. oh missloveitorleavit. you are a minister if i've ever met one. no misunderstanding. just a case of...the patience - the long, painful act of patience. it sucks and i'm sorry but i know that it will work out how God planned (not a very enfj thing to like/do/want but i'm just pumping myself up for the same feeling next year). hugs loves mwah. we could always just start a church together. it would be the most organized place ever!

  2. In my opinion, a calling from God goes above and beyond set systems of church structure, including open jobs in churches. A calling from God is exactly as you have described it: you have heard the call, you have been confirmed in that call by your community, you have gone through a rigorous process to clarify your vocation, and you will soon step out of the doors of your seminary, degree in hand. What matters is not whether there are any jobs out there, because as we have seen, economies go up and down, jobs are gained and lost. What matters is that you have been called by God. Therefore, God will continue to move you to seek the place in which you will fulfill that calling. It might take a while, though. The Bible is full of stories of people that were called to specific tasks, and it almost always appears as though those tasks were clear and ready for those called to fulfill them. But what it doesn't always tell us is whether or not those people had to wait a while, or were frustrated in their desire to know where they were to be placed. "There is no difference between saying 'God spoke to me in a dream' and saying 'I dreamed God spoke to me'" in my opinion, is a false statement. In the first example, God is doing the action first. He speaks in a dream to the person. In the second example, the person first is dreaming, and it is in their dream that God speaks. If God truly speaks to us He does so through whatever communication He chooses. Therefore, it's best to say, "God spoke to me in a dream," because the origination of the speaking comes from Him, not the dream. And while it might appear to be the same statement, saying that "I dreamed God spoke to me" puts the first action in the hands of the dreamer. When God speaks He acts first, God puts His plans into process by acting first, and He calls first. Someone might dream that He called them, but from what you have described as your calling, it doesn't seem like this was the case. If you were called in a dream, which I don't think you were, the best way to put it would be, "God called me through a dream." God called you; it's evident in your life and the tasks that you've gone through thus far to fulfill that calling. You didn't misinterpret; it wasn't your dream, it was His call. You are called by God and the job market will never change that.

  3. great picture to illustrate this posting. I think God said to look in the greater Boston area.

  4. Hilarious Little - your humor is outstanding!