I shocked myself yesterday!
I had interviewed for a job several months ago that I thought I wanted. The job would have demanded a huge amount of time and a commitment that would have effectively kept me from ever serving as a pastor in a church again. It also would have meant a substantial increase in my income, which, of course, is very attractive right now.
Well, after not hearing from the interviewer for many months, and naturally assuming the opportunity was gone, I received a phone call yesterday asking me if I was still interested in this position. This call came a few days after I had been eliminated from consideration for a pastor position at a congregation I deeply desired to serve. It also came at the greatest point of discouragement in my search for a new pastoral call after over two years of seeking. And this came at a time that finances are getting tighter, and family needs are getting greater.
Of course, I would take this position. Right? Well, I shocked myself by immediately saying, "No, I am no longer interested." When I disconnected the phone, I thought, "What did I just do?" Even more mysterious, "Why did I just do what I just did?"
Then it hit me --- I did not want to put myself in a position where I cannot find a new call to serve as a pastor! Despite everything, this call still is strong, even an overwhelming priority. As Jeremiah so graphically paints it (in Jeremiah 20:9):
His word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
This is my call. The "staff is still in my hand." This is what I must seek to do, as long as God so wills. So, my search continues for a congregation with which I can share this "fire."