Today while having lunch with a friend, I asked her opinion regarding a recent series of books that the young people of America have discovered.  She had not read the book but she had seen the movie made from the book; and she, too, had seen the parallels to Christian life that I had observed.  I said, “I’d like to write a children’s book about God’s ability to work in supernatural ways in our lives.”

Later, I asked, “Wouldn’t it be fun to teach a group of pre-teens and teens using this series of books as your curriculum and the Bible as your text?  I would love to do that,”  I said, enthusiastically.

“You should do it,” she replied, her voice equaling my enthusiasm.

“I can’t,” I said.  “That isn’t what God has called me to do.”

She smiled, an understanding grin.  She has to limit the number of great ideas she puts into effect because many of them are not part of what God has called her to do.

When one pastor came to our area a couple of years ago, he had taken a position as a youth pastor.  We talked at length one afternoon after everyone but his wife and I had left a small luncheon.

“Now that I’ve moved to the South, I want to begin a racial reconciliation ministry,” he told me.

“Youth interracial ministry is pretty easy in our area,” I said.

“I plan on working with adults.  Youth won’t be my main ministry,” he looked at me with a satisfied look.

However, I was confused.  “Is that what you did when you were in Chicago?”

He laughed, “Of course, not.  There would be no need for that up North; but now that I’m in the South, I want to make a difference in the culture.”  Obviously, my new friend didn’t fully know or understand his calling from God.

Knowing our calling is essential but focusing our energies on our calling is equally as important.  This was a hard lesson for me to learn.  A couple of years after beginning work within the  mentally challenged community, Richard Stimson, our executive director sat me down and said, “Is Special Gathering where God has called you?  If it is, you need to focus most of your energies here.”

For almost all of my life, I’d been able to flit from ministry to ministry with little negative effect on any of them.  Even though I was in full-time ministry, I was able to journey from thing to thing without any problems.  However, I remained unfocused.

It’s been several decades since I had my talk with Stimson; and God began to require me to focus my talents and skills into the ministry to which God has called me.  Samson was an unfocused hero of Israel.  He had supernatural powers.  Yet, in his death he destroyed more of God’s enemies than during his entire life.  As important as knowing what our calling is, it is equally as vital to focus our energies and spiritual efforts in the calling He has given to us.

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