Monday, September 17, 2007

Hungry for the "Recall"

When the current War of Terror began in 2001, many who had previously served in the U.S. military anticipated being recalled into service. Some may have not wanted it, but almost all that I spoke to were anxious to be re-enlisted in the service of their country. They had tasted of the pride that is uniquely theirs for having served honorably for the protection of their nation. I remember listening as men who were passed the age in which the military would want them back argued passionately for the age requirements to be extended so that they could participate in the "call to arms," or "recall" to arms.

As a Christian, I've been there. I have been in that place wherein I've tasted of the joys of Christ's mission, hungry to be "recalled" back into action. Clearly God felt it necessary for me to go through a time in which I was able to sufficiently separate identity and activity so as not to confuse performance for God and acceptance by God. Many people struggle with this, men in particular, and God must take them through a period out of service to teach them this vital lesson. But once that period is done though, we are rightly hungry to be recalled back into service.

My "recall" came in Everett, WA when I was the director of an art gallery for Thomas Kinkade. The passion was welling up inside me, it was confirmed by my wife and attested by friends and Christian leaders I knew. As a result, I was motivated to pursue a job on the facilities staff at Overlake Christian Church where we attended. My thinking was born of an old proverb I learned in Temple Kung Fu:

"Better to find fulfillment sweeping the floors of the temple, than to seek gain and fame away from it."

It was during those days, weeks and months (eventually equaling two years) vacuuming carpets, cleaning bathrooms, wiping smudges off glass doors and setting up rooms that I completed my Bible college training. I also took general education course from the local community college. The point is that I had been "recalled" to the ministry, and the passion that was now being cultivated in me by God rendered any job, even janitorial work, the ministry of a lifetime. May you find your hunger for service renewed as God "recalls" you into service for his glory.

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