Calling All Cars

I have got the Joy joy joy joy down in my heart?  Where?


I am in the midst of the spiritual blahs again.  Actually my life is a bit blah right now.


Have you ever had a moment of clarity…a moment when you know your place in the universe and you feel that you have a purpose?  I have.  At least I thought I did.  Now I wonder if I am prone to delusions of grandeur.


Since about Jr. High, I have had some notion of a calling on my life.  I spent much of that time thinking I would become a missionary to China.  Later in High School I put those thoughts on hold because I was just not ready to act on them.


I later went to Bethany and although my major was psych, I still had this nagging thought in the back of my mind that I was missing my “true” calling.


Fast forward to about 9 years ago.  I attended a spiritual retreat called “the Walk to Emmaus.”  I spent most of that retreat in tears because I finally felt a strong calling on my life.  I was to become a Methodist Minister.


The years that followed I was about as involved as anyone could be in ministry as a layperson.  I ran a very successful ministry in our church called TnT (twenties and thirties).  I planned retreats.  I preached at the contemporary service.  I even subbed at a friend of mines church.


I entered the candidacy program in my district and was assigned a spiritual mentor to determine if I was indeed “called.”  I had to work through a workbook with my mentor and meet with him weekly.  The more I proceeded the more certain I was of my calling.  At the end of my exploration phase, my mentor asked me if I still felt called.  I said yes and he said he sensed the same thing.  I enrolled in the local seminary for the fall, and I was scheduled to meet with the board of ordained ministry as well as my Churches SPRC committee.


Then the bottom fell out of my world.  Truly it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.  My son was born.  He is the joy of my life.  But he came into the world with a lot of medical baggage.  My personal/spiritual calling was on hold.


Then last spring I toyed with the idea again.  Maybe I could manage this.  But the events of this summer have led me to believe that it is not to be.  I can continue torturing myself or I can admit defeat and realize that my “calling” was just an illusion.  I was wrong.


So over that past weeks I have been trying to redefine my life.  Unfortunately when you admit you are wrong about something that is so fundamentally core to your existence, it throws up a lot of dust.  Things I have not questioned in years.  I now question.  If I am wrong about this, what else could I be wrong about?


I find myself sitting in church thinking “so what.”  I have tried reading the Bible, but I have a similar reaction.  I still pray, a lot.  I feel like I am in a constant dialogue with God.  Life, family, friends…I pray about it all.  But I think this mostly mental habit and not true communion.


I do not *do* well without goals.  Right now I am ambivalent.  Right now I just don’t care.  I keep volunteering for stuff in the hope that I may recapture a sense of meaning/direction, but for now it does not seem likely.  For now I am marking time in the parade of life.

By Ben Posted in Life

8 comments on “Calling All Cars

  1. Hi Ben. I’m certainly no expert on this, but sometimes our definitions of ministry are not what God has in mind. Like there are certain things I know God wants me to do, and they are “ministry”, but not in the traditional sense. I don’t think you missed God. Maybe it just looks different from what you originally perceived. Maybe it’s just time to let go of preconceived ideas on this one.

  2. Maybe Susan is right. Or (and?), maybe this is a matter of “later.” My pastor, Carole Vincent, did not begin the process of preparing for ministry until she was about 50. She’s now serving her third Methodist church.

    Hang in there, my friend. You minister in ways you don’t realize.

  3. Hey Ben, I went through all of the steps you went through. Mine ended up being a minister. Now, I believe God is calling me in a new direction. It’s been exciting seeing how God is slowly confirming something I first began sensing in 2004. God will give moments of clarity. They are wonderful…but I can tell you this much…most of my life is lived a bit blurry. I wish life’s decisions were as neat and clean as my parents try to believe.

  4. You asked, “What else could I be wrong about?” I gotta tell you, friend… the pig snout… definitely wrong about the pig snout. ew!

  5. Susan and or Craig…I kind of hope you are right…but I will have to see a hand writing on the wall to pursue a “calling” again.

    Mark, I was kind of reading between the lines of your blog and I guessed as much. Actually your blog inspired this entry.

    Judi…What??? I am expressing myself through nature. 😀

  6. How can we, as “God’s” children, walking our various paths in this life God gave us be doing anything but following our “calling” ?

    If you believe in God, every breath you take, every road you travel is part of that “calling”. Even when you’re sitting by the roadside twittling your thumbs.

    I posted a blog some time ago which comes to mind now:

    If you don’t “believe” in God, God does not exist for you
    If you do “believe” in God, God can not exist without you.
    If you KNOW God,
    “belief” becomes a moot point.

    Moral of the story…

    It just is, and “It’s” … perfect.


  7. heya ben!!!!!! Um this is Bethie…sooooo this blog was about three or however many months ago so this might not be an issue anymore…but i figured id tell you my ideas anyways. Thats the point of a blog right? lol. 😀
    Well any ways. What about Joseph? The one in Genesis? He had dreams of becoming higher than his brothers and even his father, i mean come on if wheat bows down to you thats gotta mean something right? Well anywhos…he ended up being thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, and put in prison. Seems pretty far from his dream. Doesnt make sense right? What ever happend to those dreams? Well of coarse they died with that pretty coat of his….actually not so much.
    HE ended up being second in command in Egypt. Why? Becuase no mater what happend to him he still served God and trusted Him. He could have Given up and in (I mean hey im sure potiphers wife was a hottie, why else would it be a temptation?) The piont? Keep serving GOd and trusting in those things that Hes spoken to you…God wouldnt give you dreams and then say “oops sorry you dont get this because your life is a bit harder now”. nope. He says keep trusting in Me and youll see my glory through everything youre going through. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have For You, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” God knows what hes doing. Well any ways thats my two cents, dont know if it helps much, but hey did my best lol….:D. Love ya!

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