I had a very ordinary day yesterday. When I got up yesterday, most people were at their jobs. This apartment is not home. Home is in Kingston Springs. Yet, the ordinariness of a familiar shower was good. We've showered and slept in a hotel for many days. I had slept in my own sheets. Now I used my own towel.
I drove alone to Sioux Falls. There is something about an hour in a car by yourself that can generate a lot of thoughts. I had an appointment and then went to lunch with some people from the Seminary. The purpose of the lunch was to explore ministry opportunities in Iowa. It was a nice lunch, with nice fellowship, with nice people. That is all it was though. Ministry opportunities continue to allude me.
I have been wondering of late about this call to ministry. I have wondered if I misunderstood God. I wondered if these gifts and passions that I have to ministry to God's people are going to lay forever dormant. I wonder if the gift that God gave me to preach His word is never going to be heard in the ears of those hungry for it. I had the President of the university who taught my preaching class tell me I preached one of the best sermons he'd ever heard. He told me I was like Barbara Brown Taylor, a great preacher. The class that day stood to its feet with a standing ovation. I know I have these gifts.
I have clung to the scripture from Proverbs18:16
A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.
I've been told that verse means that the gift God has given me will open the way for me. As I look at the verse with the eyes trained in exegesis, I wonder if that is really the right interpretation.
I've been told to wait. I have waited. I have been patient. I have prayed. I have trained myself and developed my gifts.
I've been told that I have to go knock on doors. I have knocked on doors. While someone usually answers the door, no one has let me in. There has been no hospitality of welcoming me fully. No opportunity to belong and serve.
I've begun to pursue some other avenues. Discouragement was high before I left South Dakota. Now as the numbness wears off and reality creeps back in, so does discouragement. My passion for God and to serve His people is no less strong. Nevertheless, I experience another verse from Proverbs:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick (13:12).
I wrote yesterday on my facebook page: the first page of a new chapter. That sounds hopeful, doesn't it? Some one commented back: can hardly wait to read this book. I thought yea, me too.