Staying True to the Call

3 Oct

A great friend appropriately reminded me today to “stay true to my calling.”  Good words for any pastor to hear (especially on a Monday!!)  This afternoon, I have been thinking a lot about my calling.  About what it meant to me 25 years ago when I left a booming career in IT to follow Him wherever He would lead.  About what it means to me today, after spending over two decades in the same local church.

Apparently my calling began before I can even recall it.  A good friend from way back reminds me often that she can still remember when we were in kindergarten and I proudly announced that “I am gonna be a preacher one day.”  I do not remember that but I am sure she is 100% correct!!  If you knew me through my high school and college years, you would’ve thought that to be a misunderstanding.  There was NO WAY that boy would ever be a minister of any kind.

In spite of me, God had a plan.  He maneuvered me exactly where He wanted me to be … Where He NEEDED me to be.  I worked for several years in an up-and-coming part of the Information Technology industry and He called me to leave it.  Walk away.  Take my wife, my 9 month old daughter, leave my job, and go where He led.  I did it.  I vowed to follow Him completely, even when I might be the only one.  He is my Rock.  And this has been quite a ride.

He moved this country boy to New Orleans for three years where Diana and I had to make it over 600 miles from our families.  It was tough but we made it.  He gave us an awesome family in our church, the Woodmere Baptist Church of Harvey, LA, and another awesome family in our seminary family.  He gave Krissy several pairs of surrogate grand parents, including Dr. Sid and Virginia Buckley who were already family to us before we ever moved there.  It was an exciting time and a simpler time.

Then He moved us to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Florence, SC.  We first came here for me to do Youth Ministry and after a few years, this church asked me to be their senior pastor.  He gave us yet ANOTHER great family.  And the calling continued.

Over the years, there have been many peaks and awesome times.  And there have been many valleys.  There has been much to celebrate.  There has been a few times to mourn.  And, honestly there have been a couple of times when I have wanted to go back in time and BEG that little kid NOT to say that prophetic statement he so proudly announced.  And, yet, God is still the same.  He is still here.  And the calling is still loud and clear.

And, just as my good friend reminded me today (even though he probably doesn’t even realize it), when I keep my eyes focused on God it doesn’t matter what storms I might face.  I will never face them alone.  I am also most thankful for a wife who walks with me 100% of the time.  God is my Rock, and many times she is my anchor.

What does the future hold?  None of us knows the answer to that.  But we take great heart, because we KNOW Who holds the future.  And He is at work all around us.

So, today I am thankful for the calling.  And I have good news for you, too …  God has called YOU to something equally as awesome!!!  Are you willing to discover it?

One Response to “Staying True to the Call”

  1. Brian Howard October 4, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    I was walking back to my car the other night after a tiring ministry week when Galatians 6:9 came to mind “Let us not grow weary of doing good…” Keep up the good work at Ebenezer and thanks for your thoughtful post. Brian H.

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