Thursday, February 10, 2011

Answering the Call- Daily Drudgery or Divine Discipleship?

I wasn't surprised when I read that "The Call" has turned out to be Os Guinness's best selling book- it is amazing! One day in the near future, I am going to start a small group study and my recommendation is that we do this book (my version has a study guide in the back).
Not intending to offend- but this book has inspired me in a way that "Purpose Driven Life" did not. My guess is that PDL by Rick Warren seems to be  'Me' focused and Guiness's book hits me as a more 'God focused' piece- and that may be entirely speculative and apologies to Warren if not true.

These last 9 weeks have been the most restful and refreshing times with the Lord I have ever had. I experienced deep pain and have had God meet me in a real way every single day since then. I did a study of Isaiah ( written 2700 years ago and had direct messages to me daily) and now I am studying Daniel.

I am reading the biography of Winston Churchhill and another book on the history of the CIA.

But this book, The Call, just stays with me all day- great points and stories. It is also a surprising book, it does not follow the 'Self-help step by step plan to future success and happiness'. It has been the finishing mold to heart preparation for our next deployment.

Our family is in the middle of a '7 days of prayer' in anticipation of selecting our next stage of ministry and work. This book has me excited about all of the options in front of me.

A specific example of this was the latest chapter- (Patches of Godlight CH. 22). It explores how calling allows the believer to do even difficult or small tasks with great energy and meaning. As I mentally rehearse my next jobs, there are parts of all of them that will be tough (all jobs have their thorns) and this chapter allowed me to use my imagination to walk through all of these with grace and success. I do know this- wherever I go next- I have never been more ready in my whole life to work with my heart and energy in freedom and fearlessness and compassion.
I could quote the entire chapter- but I wanted to paraphrase a hymn sung by George Herbert as an anthem for this next mission:

Teach me- my God and King
In all things- You to see,
and no mater what I do
I do it all for YOU!

A man may look at special things
and be so impressed
Until he goes out under Your sky
and ponders the wonder You make

So whatever You call me to
Nothing is trivial or mean
And I pray the phrase "For His Sake"
will ever grow brighter and clean.

A servant with this rule
Makes drudgery divine
I will even sweep rooms
If I know it is for You I do

So this is a famous touchstone
that turns even dust to gold
When God puts His name on a task
What He owns- cannot for less be told.

And finally, Oswald Chambers:

"We do not need the grace of God to stand crises....but it does require twenty-four hours in everyday as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple- to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus Christ- (we do not have to do exceptional things for God)- We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in the world's streets and among the world's people- and this is not learned in five minutes."

The best news of all- is that all of the options in front of me are more fun than drudgery- and more excitement than banality- I am so thankful for my choices. One of them came within 24 hours of my dismissal. Now comes the tricky part- which one of these does the Lord want me to do? I will be selecting soon......

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