A reluctant calling

I saw that phrase yesterday. And those three words resonated:

Dear Father, You are dragging me towards something I cannot do, nor want to do, nor ever had any ambition to do. Despite my insistence that I am unable to do this calling, despite the fact others can do this calling so much better than I, despite the joy and love I share without this calling intruding into our living and time together … You keep drawing me. You keep calling me. You see something in me I do not. You desire something I do not. You will not let me alone.

A reluctant calling.

I suspect many are called this way. I suspect that many of the many put off God for many a year. I am one who has and is. And so God is using others who “call” on His behalf. Others who become a tidal wave of calling. When God desires something God calls and calls and calls. Looking back He has been calling me for over two decades. And still I resist.

It seems to make no difference. He will keep calling. No matter how long I resist He will call. And I may go to my grave still resisting. My choice. My decision. My right.

Mark Meyers used that phrase yesterday. From the circumstances of greatest pain and suffering Mark used that phrase. Circumstances you can read about in a way I find humbling. Makes me smile as I cry tears. Mark has a gift and a calling.

“I have what I’ve heard termed a reluctant calling and I am searching for how both God and the childhood cancer community will use it.”  An Admiration of Breasts  (then follow the conversations in the comments boxes)

I can see Mark’s gift. I can see Mark’s pain. I can see Mark’s calling. His reluctant calling.

And my reluctant calling?

I have reached the point of not saying no. I have agreed I am being called. So I have stopped saying no. Is that “not resisting” (because I still think God is nuts)?  Still think this “calling” is way out of my league. Still believe I cannot deliver.

I prayed my “impossible prayer” recently. He hasn’t delivered yet. Quite honestly, that is a let-down. I was hoping for a quick response. £100k for keeping the Jesus buses on the road. It’s a worthwhile request. One that is impossible to me – but He tells us to do that – to pray the impossible and believe. And I believe. Just hoping for something a little quicker, Lord.

And my reluctant calling? The one I have put-off for two decades? I have wandered hither and thither following Him. Being a good human being – and recently a good Christian – and more recently preferring to shrug that label off – to simply be someone indwelt and at one with One. Less labels – more God.

And I think I am realising something new.

For two decades I have not been following Him. He has been following me. As I put off that calling, He simply walks alongside whichever direction I take. And I have had great joy, great learning, great loving. And I have had my share of disappointments, hopes not realised, desires not yet fulfilled. I have lived as we all do until we don’t. Yet as I believed I was following Him – I was not – He follows me.

A reluctant calling.

If my impossible prayer is not answered (which means “not delivered to my satisfaction”) in the next two decades – will I still think He will? If my impossible prayer is not “fixed” in my lifetime, will I wag my finger in His face when we meet?

I am learning that God keeps His promises. I am learning that God keeps following. I am learning that a calling is “a calling”.

And if I can live in the moment freely surrendering to a God who only wants the best for me – no matter how weird or impossible that seems to my small brain – no matter how at odds to a world which has engineered career paths, aims, goals and objectives as the way to succeed – no matter how much at odds with us “Christians” who debate our sacrifice and self-denial and the imposition our Loving Father makes on our lives … If I truly love this God who is MY God Soft Hands Jesus …

Is anything truly “impossible” (or nuts)?

I heard faith described yesterday as “Grabbing hold of God and never letting go!” For two decades I have not grabbed God. I have shadow-boxed someone who sees me as unique and perfect.

I am learning that I can only follow Him if I live in the moment. This very moment. The moment where God lives.  That (I think) is the “thin place” we all seek. That elusive glorious “thin place” where God and we become (almost) one.

Now imagine living in the moment always. The place where God lives always. The place where we always connect – with God – with ourselves – with each other.

A reluctant calling?

I am learning how much I live “away from the moment”. The place where God must follow me.

(“Grabbing hold of God and never letting go!”: Do you believe – Don Merritt)

7 thoughts on “A reluctant calling

  1. As ever, Paul, very thought provoking and helpful. While reading this something struck me. We have talked about this “living in the moment”; taking one day at a time etc. as if it’s God’s way of pacing us or reining us in…”Woo, Keith!” I think I’ve got a wrong picture there. If God was before the beginning and will be after the end, he is outside of time. In one sense time has no meaning for him. So “living for today” is not putting a limitation on me – it’s the only way that you can live. I suppose the good news is that, though it’s outside his nature, Jesus’ time on earth gave God a clue that we mere humans do get frustrated when things don’t happen (to use the word that we think we understand) “now”. Equally God is not so much nagging when he calls us continually time and time again. He’s just reminding us that nothing (not even time) can separate us from his love and will for us – he sees the outcome of our response not just today, but to tomorrow and next year and so on. Food for thought in the form of a dry crust!


    • Lovely words Keith, thank you. I have never thought of “living in the moment” in that way. More that I find I struggle to do that – the past, future, and “what if” all crowding “the moment” out with so much internal noise.

      And a thought that you have triggered: if time is “meaningless to God” then “reminders” may not be multiple in “God world” – more a case of one long extended breath to Him (or even one short breath), but more like “nagging” to us in “our world”. And maybe our repeated reminders to Him are not nagging in God world – maybe just one extended breathing out from us to Him.

      Hmmmm – I like your crusts!! 🙂


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