After many years of being away, my good friends, Chris and Linda, finally moved back to our home town to pastor a church.
The toddlers and I recently visited their church and after the Sunday morning service they had a dinner in the fellowship hall. (I know it was actually lunch, but where I’m from we call lunch “dinner” and “dinner” supper, so get over it!)
I rather reluctantly stayed for the “dinner,” anticipating some problems in keeping the toddlers under control in a crowd of people that don’t know us. But we stayed, and though the toddlers were unruly, the church members were kind and understanding.
During the dinner we met several new people and, as is common with most people when we first meet them and they learn that we are a family, they usually respond with a polite, “Bless Your Heart.”
But one lady, upon being introduced and learning of our situation, surprisingly responded, “Aren’t You Blessed!”
Her response struck me as unusual, but I liked it! What insight! She understood! She got it!
She recognized that my life wasn’t over as I live out my grandparent days trying to be a parent to the children.
She knew that because of the children my life was being blessed!
She knew that my blessing was not in what I’m doing for them, but in what they’re doing for me!
So, who’s being blessed here? I would contend, somewhat selfishly, that it is more than likely me.
Now, I’ve written on this subject in a previous post, but this is the first time that someone has affirmed it to me.
“Aren’t You Blessed!” she declared.
Over the next few days, her affirmation of my family condition caused me to ponder my situation and have a conversation with myself about the course my life has taken (OK, I admit I talk to myself, but sometimes I just need to have an adult conversation and I’m the only one around!)
See, my friends, Chris and Linda, weren’t always pastors. Before they were called to the ministry, in fact, for most of their lives, they had regular jobs, a nice home, and were comfortable living the American dream.
And then God called them into the ministry and they sold the nice home and started pastoring in a small, rural church.
I admire them.
I wish I could have the courage to step out in faith and serve God in the ministry.
I wish God would call me to the ministry.
Because I have all these sermons in my heart that I would like to preach, all these Bible lessons in my head I would like to teach, and some books in the depths of my soul that I need to write.
But I’m occupied full-time with raising two grandchildren. About the only ministry I can handle is to fill in occasionally at church when a Sunday School teacher is sick.
Yet, I think I could do so much for God…
Surely, I could handle greater responsibility in God’s Kingdom than just being a substitute Sunday School teacher.
Why did God put these unpreached sermons in my heart and these untaught Bible lessons in my head and these unwritten books in my soul?
God, I know I can handle a higher calling…can’t I?
Can’t I God, can’t I?
Then, a light in my soul begins to flicker and a silent whisper is heard in my heart asking:
“Aren’t you blessed?”
Either man’s work or his own gifts.
Who best bear his mild yoke,
They serve him best.
His state is kingly:
Thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.