In 2009 I attended an event called “Exploration” in Dallas. I didn't really need to be there. Don't misunderstand me it was fantastic but at the same time, I already knew my calling; I've already explored my options for ministry and I already have the list of seminaries that I'd like to attend narrowed down to three or four.
In thinking about 'calling' in my life I realize that I've always been excellent at responding to the "big call" type things in my life, I never fought too hard against my call to ministry, when I was in high school I remember giving away most of my clothes and possessions to thrift stores and emergency shelters because I didn't want to have 'two shirts.' Since then I've moved across the country to help plant a church and then moved again and worked an average of forty hours a week at a ten hour a week youth ministry job. I don't say this to brag - it's to say that although I'm good about wanting to do ministry I struggle at the daily things.
I'm the kind of guy who forgets to eat in the morning if he brushes his teeth. I have a very narrow range of focus and because of that I often miss the real ministry opportunities while in the process of trying to do ministry.
I'm beginning to understand that most times real ministry happens in daily life, bumming my last cigarette to a homeless person, keeping my eyes open for hitchhikers as I drive. Sometimes it's doing the dishes even if it's one of my roommate's days. Sometimes real ministry is more about tipping a waitress well than it is about preaching behind a pulpit.
In other words I'm bad at living daily some of the basics of the Christian life, and maybe just life in general, which I think is a common occurrence in our society. We all have examples of friends whose parents work so hard to provide luxury and opportunities for their children that they miss their entire childhood. I think that this is especially true for people in ministry. We work really hard to create a beautiful and moving foot washing service all week and in the process forget to spend time with our friends, ourselves, our families and even God.
This ignoring of the basics is a terrible thing. It creates empty lives filling pews on a Sunday morning because, while it might be modeled by those in leadership, it is an epidemic that has swept through the entire Christian community. We forget that life itself is a divine calling if we let it be, God can be as present in a dead end retail job as in a church building. A calling can be a calling to a certain trade, an art form, even to love. We must allow God room within our movements to work the divine will of love.
If we look at the example of Jesus given in the gospels, the most powerful moments of his ministry were not when speaking to large crowds of people, they didn't occur because of some exciting miracle, but were rather in the quiet, intimate moments with his friends and followers.
The bottom line is that Christ was not just a powerful example in public ministries but he was God incarnate in his daily life, in every occurrence. How do we allow Christ to be incarnate in our daily lives and beings? It has to go beyond 'What would Jesus do?' to 'How would my life change if Christ was fully present in just one atom of my being, in just one occurrence in the span of my life?' I'm positive that if that could happen it would spread like a holy wildfire through every fiber of our beings. What would that look like for You? Now go and live that.
See more devotions from Luke and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.