Today marks the end of my ninth year of a very specific way of serving God, as a “called and ordained servant of the Word”. As year number 10 starts, I look back to a weird moment when I felt the “inner call” of God to be a pastor. This “inner call” is a gut feeling, it’s the personal sense that God wants you to do something. It is not as reliable as the “outer call” which is what happened to me after seminary – when God used University Lutheran to deliver a call to me. But the inner call is important nonetheless.
I remember that feeling of God tugging on my heart and asking me to consider becoming a pastor. “No thanks,” I said, “Been there, done that, got the tshirt.” I had dipped my toe into pre-seminary studies while I was in undergrad, and I wasn’t sure that it was a fit for me — rather, I was sure that it wasn’t a fit for me.
But God persisted. He hardly would let me fall asleep without the incessant, troubling question being posed to me again, “Why don’t you think about becoming a pastor?”
My morning devotion today was taken from Song of Songs. It talked about how God chased us like the two lovers are chasing each other in Song of Songs. He desperately wants us, He wants to connect with us in a way that makes sense for us. God knew that the way that made sense for He and I to be connected was through this crazy office that I fill as the pastor of University Lutheran.
He has chased you too – by way of your vocations. Vocation means “calling” and it encompasses the mundane, everyday realities of your life that are yours because of the time and place that God has set you in. He wants you to look into those things and see the marks of His chasing you in your time and your place. He especially wants you to look at the Cross and see how He has chased you down in order to forgive you of your sins through that.
He finally wants to share Himself through your vocations. I would not have become a pastor if it weren’t for a few key people who shared God with me by living out their vocations. I try to live out my vocation of the pastoral office so that it might become not only a calling for me, but a way through which others can hear God calling for them. I encourage you to consider your vocation in the same way – whether you’re 9 years in or 90.