Friday, June 5, 2009

What do you WANT to do?

Elsewhere on the Internet, I'm having a conversation with someone who has recently left full-time ministry, in order to better follow God. :) In case it's escaped your own radar, this occurrence is somewhat of an epidemic ... a mass-exodus of epic proportion.

Having only been trained in "how to be a professional clergy in the system", she and her husband are now facing the inevitable question: "What do we do now?!?"

While we were never paid by the system, my husband having been bi-vocational while clergy, and having retained his employment, I did want to respond to her in a way that may invite her to see the "bigger-picture":

You're indeed in an unsettling time ... the foundation is being ripped out from underneath you, and your former modes of security are no more. I love this quote: "we turn to God when our foundations are shaking, to learn that it's God who's shaking them."

On one hand, you say, " Probably asking lots of things that only God can answer and in His time."

And yet, on the other hand, you ask, twice, " I have mostly just been trying to figure out what other ministers do for occupations after they leave paid ministry." & " I am just curious what kinds of careers people with Bible college degrees get into. "

May I suggest that the time for "doing what others are doing" is behind you, part of the very human system you've left behind...? May I suggest that perhaps He's saying to you (as He did to Peter), "What's that to you? You follow Me."

The transition from "complying with the system" to "following the Living God within" is a huge one. It can take a moment to get us out of the system, but it can take exponentially longer to get the system out of us. If you're open to the concept that it's likely to take far longer, with much more pain, and far more circuitously than you can fathom, then it will be easier on you.

No one can blueprint it out for you, there are no 3 easy steps to copy, no example to adhere to, to formula to apply. There's just the Living God, and you... as He personally and intimately leads you in a way that will look as unique as your own fingerprints and DNA. This is about learning a whole new way of intimacy with your Father ... about following Jesus who alone is your Way ... each of our paths look beautifully diverse and unique ... even while He is both Guide and Goal of each of us. He alone draws all men & women, & children) to Himself.

Learning to live-loved, rather than to live-in-compliance, is a big shift. But, rest assured, shift happens. ;)

You've seen those motion-detector lights? The kind that only light the next step after you've taken the former step? Well, this journey can be like that ... utter darkness before you, no assurance of where your next step will land, until you dare to step out, in faith, as He beckons, "Follow Me." Once we are sure of Him who is within us (nearer than breath, closer than hands and feet), that which is around us is superfluous. Secondary.

It's not true that he has "one specific parking space" for us to find, and thus park in (regarding vocation, job, place to live, etc.). He wants us to know that He owns the entire parking lot ... and gives us the glorious gift of free will to choose where we want to park. He gives us the desires of our heart (He puts those very desires withIN us). So, what is your heart, wherein He lives, telling you? What do you WANT to do? Where do you WANT to go? Where does your God-given passion lead you? (are you beginning to sense the freedom here? is it not an exuberant thing?)

Once we know who we ARE, the way He's created us to be ... our doing naturally flows out of our being.

Shalom, Dena

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