Thursday, November 03, 2005
Keep your envelope open
So I’m switching majors this semester. It I for a few reasons but to be honest it’s mostly just because it feels right. I WAS a Youth Ministry major and have now switched to Theology. Honestly I’ve never felt this way before, I always; since I was in the sixth grade, wanted to be a youth pastor, and I still may, but I’m not sure. For the first time ever I don’t know where God is leading me.
I’m starting to question the validity of my feelings, that I was called to youth, that I had for so long. Does God lead people to something in order to get them somewhere totally different? I think back to an old story from the book of Genesis about a man named Abraham. God made Abraham a promise that from him a nation, through whom all people would be blessed, would emerge. The problem was that Abraham didn’t have a son. How was he supposed to have a nation without even having a son? Well, in Abraham’s old age, God delivered. Abraham was given a son. Abraham thought this was the answer; this was what God wanted from him. He thought this boy was the fulfillment of the promise. Things got complicated… God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. He ‘called’ Abraham to sacrifice his only son to God. How could he ever do this… this boy was his answer, his dream. Would he disobey God? Abraham took his son to make the sacrifice… as they built the altar and collected wood, the boy asked his father “hey, where is the sacrificial lamb?” Think about the pain Abraham must have felt… the son he loved innocently starting to suspect… how do you answer? He said to his son “God will provide the lamb.” Just after the alter was built Abraham bound up his son, raised his dagger to kill his son. Oh, the obedience of Abraham. He is doing what God called him to do. God led him to this point and so he’s doing it. As the blade fell, he was stopped. God stopped him, why? Why would God change His mind? God commended his obedience.
What’s going on in this story? Does God change His mind about where He called Abraham? What if God knew all along that He wasn’t really going to have Abraham kill his son, the son he loved? Sometimes God calls us somewhere only to get us to somewhere totally different.
I remember when I was choosing schools back in high school. At the time I subconsciously had plans to go to BIOLA. That’s where everyone who was anyone went if they were a Christian in my hometown. God gave me a passion for football. I played football in high school and did well. I wanted to play in college, I knew I could. How could I pass up such an opportunity? So, I went online and looked for Christian universities with a Youth Ministry major and a football team. I found Azusa Pacific University.
I never played football at APU… and now I’m switching majors. Maybe God had another plan in mind the whole time. If it weren’t for Youth Ministry and football I’d never have gone to APU but now I’m out of both.
I feel a little like Abraham. I’ve never been called to kill anyone but I see now that God lead me a lot like He did Abraham. He called me to Youth Ministry to get me to APU and possibly into something much greater as well. If I closed the envelope as soon as I heard from God I’d be somewhere totally different than I am now. What we can learn from Abraham is to keep the envelope open because God is still writing the letter. Be open to what god wants for you and realize He may be calling you somewhere completely different than you’d first expected. keep your envelope open or... you might end up killing someone.