Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why are you here?

When I was younger (and for you folks older than me on here, you can just live with my use of that phrase) I cared a lot about success.  I had chosen the United Methodist Church for my route to success.  I moved up through the system networking and going to planning committee meetings so that I could say that I was at the XYZ meeting with XYZ person.  All the while I did feel that I was living God's call for my life, but caring more about how many names I could drop or how many pieces of legislation I could work on.  Even in beginning stages of my call process I just wanted to be one step ahead of my peers, just to say that I was.  There was no better reason than moving up.  

Recently (as my husband can attest) I have grown weary in the politics of this church, not because of the work that they require, but because I feel like I am now growing out of that phase of knowing more people and serving on more committees that are higher up.  Often I go home from meetings/gatherings feeling as though it is a one upping competition between the attendees.  I believe this comes from me finally realizing that my calling is genuine, and that the only thing I need to be focused on is living God's call in my life as fully as possible.  It is not how many committes I serve on or how many people I know or how soon I will get ordained... none of that matters.  I have felt this way for a long time, but struggled to verbalize it.  

Then I go to chapel this afternoon.  It was my friend's senior chapel service, and I was very much looking forward to it.  She then put words to those feelings I had been having.  She said, "You are not here [seminary] to be effective and successful.  You are here to be faithful to God's word."  That is it.  The only thing I need to be worried about in my life is being faithful to God's word in my life, and helping others to be faithful to their calling in whatever capacity that may be.  I am not here to be effective and successful.  


I am here for the sole purpose of living the calling of God in my life. What a great source of strength and encouragement for the end of this school year.  


April Casperson said...

Wonderful. Thank you.

Helen said...

What a neat blog, Anna. I enjoy your writing so much.

SC at COGS said...

You go girl!! I've come to learn that the church is one of the most hypocritical institutions in the world!!
S.C. at COGS

Don said...

You are correct in this, Anna. Kudos to you for figuring it out now. I have colleagues who've been in the ministry for 20 or 30 years who haven't figured it out. If you are simply faithful to your call, "success" as defined by society will be irrelevant.

justpastor said...

I always say that I am not called to be successful only faithful.

Fysh Phoenix-- said...

Anna B (whoops, G)
I'm still here! I enjoyed reading you today. I'm wrestling with my own stuff (mostly with overcoming some nasty inertia and finding direction and all that good stuff).
Still... e-mail me sometime. It would be nice. I miss you.