Have you ever just wanted to quit what you were doing and walk away? I think most of us have experienced that feeling sometime in our lives. At some point, most parents feel it as they are raising their children. Doctors feel it as they get overwhelmed with patients. In our current learning environment principals and teachers are certainly feeling the desire to move on. And many clergy are feeling it. For me, when you are trying so hard to do what is right and yet you cannot seem to please anyone, it gets discouraging.
During this pandemic I have felt like walking away several times. I hate feeling helpless in the face of Covid-19. I do not like the division within our nation and our neighborhoods about masks and no masks. I am frustrated at the lack of mercy and generosity we show each other. In the midst of everything that is going on I am not sure of much, but I think I know two things for sure: 1) I am whining right now, and 2) I am not alone in feeling the way I feel. I believe a lot of folks, especially those in leadership positions, are experiencing the desire to bail out.
So, why don’t I walk away? Is it because I think I can change the world or make a difference? No! That is not why I don’t leave. I stay because I feel called. I stay because deep within my heart I believe I am where God wants me to be. I hope in your situation, that is why you don’t run away either.
The word “vocation” comes from a Latin word meaning “to call.” Good teachers do not teach for the money. They feel called to help form the next generation. Good doctors do not practice medicine for financial gain. They practice medicine because they have been given a compassionate heart for the sick and believe they are called to help. The same is true for good pastors. We feel compelled to stand “in the gap” for God and help others, no matter the circumstances, to know that God is with them.
So, Covid-19 will come, and Covid-19 will go. Shouting politicians and ugly election commercials will continue to air. The stock market will go up and down depending on the whims of investors. But the WORD OF THE LORD stays. And as long as God calls me, I will stay, and I will continue to preach and teach God’s word.
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy (2:9), Paul states, “And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained.” After reading the second letter to Timothy, I guess I need to stop whining. I am not suffering like Paul was when he was held against his will. Maybe it is time for me to stop focusing on the negative and start focusing on the call of God. The Word of God cannot and will not be stopped. If I have to endure some difficult times, or the complaints and unhappiness of some people, that is nothing compared to the privilege of being called by God to be an instrument of His word for others.