Ready for Paul?

Monday, September 8, 2014

The teacher, the writer and the cabinet maker

We were asked in church to talk with the people sitting around us and discuss what we think is our "calling." On one side of me was a wonderful lady who not only runs but starts new church groups from scratch, always encouraging people, always drawing people closer to God. She has a day-job too where she doesn't push faith down people's throats, but she does make it clear what she believes and she's there for everyone. She amazes me.

On my other side was a kind and gentle man who builds cabinets. He works alone, doesn't talk much about his faith or anything else. He prides himself on a job well done, value for money, and satisfied customers. He gives pleasure to those who employ him, and he creates beautiful pieces.

There in the middle sat I. I'm a writer. I feel "called" to encourage people to read their Bibles, ask questions, realize faith isn't blind, and read their Bibles again. It sounds pretty good doesn't it? And I have books out there, real published books, some of them even in print... I'm who I always dreamed of being... except...

Well, I don't have very many readers, so who am I encouraging?

I tell myself it doesn't matter. If one of my books influences one person to read his or her Bible and thereby meet with God, then all my effort's worthwhile... except... It's not my effort, is it? It's my gift, given to Him, to use however He chooses. And if I'll really be happy with just one influenced reader, chances are the quiet cabinet maker should be happier still. He's met more real people than I, talked with more, however quietly and individually, and has surely already influenced far more than I can.

Looking back, I wonder if, of the three of us, the cabinet maker was the one with the greater calling. After all, what calling could be greater than to walk in the steps of the Carpenter?

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