Not Getting Side Tracked From Your Call
Last Tuesday, I turned in my contract committing to another year at the international school where I teach. Last Wednesday morning, I woke up and read an email that informed me that 7 people more people were leaving and would not be coming back in the Fall. Tears flowed from my eyes as I tried to take it all in. Knowing that I would not be able to process this on my own, I emailed two close friends to pray for me as I processed all the changes. Their prayers have sustained me this week as I have sought to see things as God would want me to see them. As I look back, a week later there are many ways to react to what happened.
The first way for me to react would have been to question my call. Should I have signed my contract? What did they see that I did not? Or I could have questioned their call. They should stick it out. How can their call be different from mine? We were in this together. It reminded me of Jesus talking to Peter at end of the book of John. Jesus asked Peter three times if Peter loved him. Peter replied each time that he did love Jesus and then Jesus asked Peter to feed His sheep. After the third time, Jesus also told Peter the type of death Peter would have and asked Peter to follow him. Peter’s reaction to this was to turn and see the disciple that Jesus loved and ask what type of death this disciple would have. In John 21:22, “Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return what is that to you? You must follow me.” Isn’t that a great reminder? I need to follow Jesus in what he has called me to do. I am not to worry about what he is called others to do. Doing so could get me side tracked from what God has called me to do here. The gift this week was seeing how God is leading each of those friends on an exciting new journey and to rejoice with them in that. Even though I must admit I still get a little teary eyed as the day approaches when they will leave. He has also given me a peace about teaching this next year.
Another way to react would be to panic. How can the school survive? What will we do? Worry and fear take over. We see through human eyes taking God out of the equation. We look for human solutions forgetting that God knows what he is doing. He needs us to take our burdens to him and be ready to be a part of his solution. This does not mean that everything will turn out perfectly but fear and worry have never solved any problem well. So this has been a week of prayer and committing the future to God. Something I should be doing daily even if there isn’t a crisis. It has also been an encouragement to see the expat community decide to do a better job of supporting the school and praying for it in the coming year. What a blessing to see how parents didn’t let themselves get sidetracked from their call because of worries and fear over their childrens’ schooling next year.
Lastly, I could react by trusting and obeying the God who is in control of all things. I don’t do this naturally but this week I have strived to do that. It has been a week of prayer, listening and trying to be an encourager to those who are leaving and those who are staying. God has confirmed my call to teach here even if the situation is not perfect. Because truly is any situation ever perfect this side of heaven. So I know in the days ahead fear, worry, and doubt have the potential to sidetrack me from what God has for me. Pray with me that they do not.
Another post you might enjoy that is related to Your Call is Is Anything Getting in the Way of Your Call?
Dear God, Satan would like nothing better than for us to be side tracked from what you have for us. Be with us and help us to keep our hearts and minds focused on things above. May we rejoice as we see you work in all things. Amen