Growing up in a Pastor’s home has its fill of blessings but often times those blessings are engulfed by tumultuous conflicts and exhausting spiritual battles. After a terrible ordeal with a leadership family in our church, I remember asking my father why he continued to love, continued so serve, and continued to pray for those who were less than kind (to put it nicely). He didn’t respond with an answer as much as he responded with a definition.
“This is not a job, this is a calling.”
For my father the calling assigned to him a greater responsibility than a job ever could. A job is given by man, but a calling is given by God himself. Who are we to abandon our calling even though times are tough? We all have bad days, we all have difficult relationships, we all have people in our lives who take without giving and speak without thinking. But to abandon these people, these that God loves, is to reject an anointing and equipping that God has ordained specifically for you and for me.
You quit a job. You abandon a calling.
The last few days have been those when I simply had to grab hold of divine encouragement knowing no other encouragement would do. Reflecting on one of my favorite poem’s I found myself calling upon the endless reserve of love found in Christ Jesus, and I realized that those very situations I loathed as a child I find grace in as an adult. The relationships that tasked me as a Pastor’s kid now incite patience as a Pastor. The fact that the calling is divine doesn’t mean the recipient of the calling is impervious to hurt. It simply means we know where to run when the hurt comes.
Back to that poem – it’s by Mother Teresa. I hope it blesses you as much as it does me.
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.