A pastor at my church recently gave a sermon on “Vocation”. I have to admit, up until that morning, I thought “Vocation” was simply what you do for work, as in, what work you do to earn money.
I found out during church that day that I had been incorrect.
What an interesting concept “Vocation” is. Call & vocation are actually one-in-the-same. Here are some examples:
- The wise-men were called by God to follow the star over Bethlehem.
- Vocation is about loving your neighbor and serving others in God’s name.
- Our vocation, as followers of Jesus, is to live our everyday ordinary lives in the way that God is calling us to, by being kind and giving to others.
So ,the pastor was telling us that day, that it is our “job”, our “vocation”, to parent with grace and love, to wash the dishes with pride and a servant’s heart, to spread kindness and mercy at your workplace, and to incorporate love and graciousness and service to others in every single thing that we do!
Isn’t that beautiful? I hope it just warms you heart to read that!
Very shortly after listening to that eye opening sermon, I was asked if I would like to be the regular vocalist for weekly worship at our local State Penitentiary. Having my deep heart for serving the less fortunate, and having my best God given talent as my singing voice, this presented as a very natural fit for a wonderful opportunity to serve!
I knew that God wanted me to trust in Him and leap into this opportunity full of faith-filled gusto, but fear was holding me back. Fear was telling me that I should be guarded…after all, there are 780 men, convicted men, in this Penitentiary….
As I felt doubt creeping deeper into my mind and my sense of security beginning to feel overshadowed, I was listening to Christian radio.
On came a testament that spoke directly to me…
The message of the caller at that very moment was about how blessed he and his wife had been by serving in a prison ministry. The radio host asked “What would you say to encourage others that might be frightened about prison ministry?”
Really God?!?! Wow, that is quite an obvious sign!
So I listened as the caller being broadcasted on the radio station, from another state, said “Do not be afraid! These children of God need love and compassion just as you and I do. Prison ministry is the most rewarding place that I have ministered! The deep need of these people to be touched by God’s love makes serving them on God’s behalf the greatest and most rewarding thing I have ever done! Do not hesitate! Go serve where it is needed most!”
Ok, God. I heard serve and compassion and do not be afraid; some of my favorite words and phrases of all time. Ok, this message was for me!
Then, the next song to be played on that very same radio station was:
Masterpiece by Danny Gokey
“You’re shaping the soul in me,
You’re moving where I can’t see.
And all I am is in your hands.”
“You’re takin’ me all apart,
Like it was your plan from the start.”
Well, by the time the song was done, I was sobbing, sitting in my car. And I said out loud, “Alright God, I get it!”
A few moments later, I texted the worship leader:
“The Lord is pushing me very hard to jump right into this prison worship thing. He has had words with me twice already today, over this. I’m in!”
And so, I smile brightly as I type this; awaiting the first time that I get to meet and worship with the beautiful children of God at the State Penitentiary. I am so grateful that the vocation that God has placed on my heart and repeatedly in my path is to serve others! It is with great awe and loud praise that I will sing in worship to Him all the days of my life!
Sisters in Christ, do EVERYTHING that you do, whether mundane or classy, whether required or soul-provoked, whether boring or delightful; do it all in the name of God and with the full love of God poured out to those you share life’s moments with!