Vocation is a funny thing. I have not written much about how I went from full-time homemaker to systematic theologian. Someday I may do that. In the meantime, God continues to surprise me. The latest surprise – Indonesia – is only a week away and I am getting a little nervous.
When I first sensed God’s call to continue my education in seminary, I agreed to give it a try but my husband made me promise that under no circumstances would we have to move to some “strange” part of the world. You see, I have always been interested in missions, and he knew it; thus the promise. But the truth is, I am not all that adventurous.
Now, nearly 15 years later, I am about to finish my sabbatical by spending a few weeks at a seminary in Indonesia. A friend of mine had asked me to come and teach. I declined several years in a row but at some point, I got the sense that this was not just a favor for a friend, but something God was calling me to do. So this year, I said yes.
And I guess the funny thing about vocation – God calling – is that it is so unpredictable. That scares me sometimes. I’m not the least bit sure I am equipped for the task I am being called to. But somehow, God always takes my submission to his unexpected call and makes something even more unexpected out of it. Often, this “something more” directly benefits others.
But sometimes, the benefit is more indirect. You see, the call sometimes involves something painful. I don’t really see the benefit to me or to anyone else. But over time, I see that the painful parts of the call shape me into someone who is better equipped to fulfill that very same call. But more about that later.
I am off on this new adventure. And I have a hunch I will learn WAY more than I am going to teach.