My call to the ministry was nothing more than a gentle whisper from God, gentle enough to dismiss it. You should be a pastor. Certainly I’d been imagining things. I had only been going to church for a few years, it must be my mind playing tricks on me. I got a Business and Marketing degree. You should be a pastor. I’m not going to uproot my family every few years, and besides, it is a stupid idea. For the next four and a half years I worked in three different jobs until I found myself in a dead-end emotionally, spiritually and mentally. You should be a pastor. I cried. I didn’t want to be a pastor, but I knew the road I was on was wrong. I cried some more and I prayed a lot. Couldn’t I have a clearer sign than something that might be considered an audible hallucination by the psychological world? A vision or sky writing… something bigger and more tangible?
(For the full audio version of this sermon, click here: SJ Sermon 8_11_13.)
In the book of 1 Kings when Elijah is told to wait for God to pass by, Elijah discovers that God isn’t found in the big things – the whirlwind, earthquake or fire. God finally arrived in the “gentle whisper” or “still small voice.” Well, for heaven’s sake, if God is supposedly all-powerful, couldn’t God work out something a little more obvious and convincing? It is completely frustrating, but there you have it. If we want to hear from the Divine, our best bet is to quiet down and listen. I heard actual words (and no, I don’t typically tell people this since it does truly sound a little crazy), but we may also hear God’s voice in the breeze, the rain, a ray of sunlight, a bird’s call or a rainbow. There are infinite ways the Divine message may be revealed to us and almost all of them require attentiveness and awareness on our part. Such is life.