There’s a door out there with your name on it. Right now. It’s open.
What will you do? ~ All The Places To Go; How Will You Know? By John Ortberg
Do you ever just get tired? Tired of keeping all of the balls in the air? Tired of trying to keep going when all you want to do is lay down and take a nap? Tired of having to keep learning new things?
These last few weeks have put me to the test. Even though most of the events of this summer have been good, they’ve also caused me to question my calling.
In June my daughter turned 22, my son graduated from high school on his 19th birthday, my mother and father-in-law celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary, I celebrated my 50th birthday, my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a trip to Charleston, and my father-in-law celebrated his 81st birthday. Not to mention Father’s Day thrown into the mix!
Since we are a family who celebrates everything, can you say exhausted?
In the middle of all of the cake, ice cream and celebratory desserts, I’ve been trying to battle the sudden onset of my middle-age spread. Without success.
Can you say discouraged?
July came and I delved into the frustrating task of cajoling my son into preparing for his first semester at Greenville Tech. Let’s just say we weren’t on the best of terms that month.
While we were on vacation at the end of July, my eleven-year-old computer decided it was time to kick the bucket.
I frantically called our computer guy who came to the rescue with a new computer along with updated software. And things that took mere seconds to do before required hours of instruction manual reading, Google searches and pulling at my hair while screaming and begging God to infuse me with this new computer knowledge.
Yeah, that new technology really did speed things up for me.
In the middle of August, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law joined me in hosting a sit down dinner/couples shower for forty in honor of my soon-to-be wed nephew and his fiancé at our house. To many, this would seem to be the most difficult thing I had to do all summer. But it wasn’t. Choosing the perfect invitations, tying burlap ribbons to the dining room chandelier and adding finishing touches to all of the tables with chargers and lanterns recharged my soul. I loved being creative and discovering ways to make the special couple and their guests feel welcome in our home. I was in my sweet spot.
That’s when I began to question my calling. Why did I enjoy party planning and decorating so much but loathed the idea of sitting down at my computer and writing my long-overdue blog post? Could God have me confused with someone else who loved to write?
Since I began this writing journey, I’ve heard stories of people who’ve always loved to write and dreamed of becoming a writer. That’s not me. I never, ever envisioned myself as a writer. Every time I sit down at the computer I question why God wants me to do this. Over the last few months my successes have been few and I’ve not been fruitful in my writing. The last two writers’ conferences I went to left me mostly deflated and discouraged.
So, why am I writing this blog post? Because I recently finished a book by John Ortberg titled All the Places to Go; How Will You Know? It’s been an inspiration to me as Ortberg explains how we need to walk through the open doors God provides without questioning every detail of why. Then I got to the chapter about Jonah.
You know, I think most of us believe that if God calls us to do something for Him, we’re automatically going to love doing it. John Ortberg gives a different viewpoint.
Jonah doesn’t want to go and preach to the city of Ninevah as God calls him to. In fact, he buys a ticket for the first boat leaving town in the opposite direction. But God goes after him. He doesn’t let Jonah wallow in self-pity and go on his way. God calls Jonah to this task, not someone who feels impassioned to save the Ninevites.
Of course, God finally gets his attention when Jonah ends up in the belly of a whale and pleads for help. Like a whimpering child who finally decides to give in after being punished, Jonah reluctantly agrees to go.
In the end, Jonah gives a less than half-hearted plea to the people of Ninevah to change their ways. And they immediately repent. IMMEDIATELY. God knows something Jonah doesn’t. Their hearts are ripe to hear God’s message.
But that doesn’t matter to Jonah. He’s still angry at God for giving him the task he most detested.
The Bible says the whole city was saved in spite of Jonah’s less than stellar preaching. Over one hundred and twenty thousand people. Wow. God can do much with the little strength we muster.
Here’s my little nugget of wisdom. Just because you don’t feel qualified or particularly impassioned to do something you believe God is calling you to do, doesn’t mean you should ignore it. In fact, maybe you should give it further inspection. Remember the old saying, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” There may be someone out there who needs you right now. If you don’t step up to the plate, your purpose won’t be fulfilled.
So, even though I don’t comprehend the why of my being called to write, I want to be faithful. When I stand before God one day, I don’t want to discover all of the blessings I missed because of my disobedience. I want to know I walked through the door He put before me and fulfilled my purpose.
What door has God put before you today? Do you have the courage to walk through? I hope so. If not, we all may miss out on a blessing.