I’m just going to be honest– this blog is long and a little self-centered.
Virtually everything I do tends to be self-centered. There are a small number of people I know personally that are, in fact, not self-centered. That’s how our sinful natures wire us. That’s whatever. Not the point.
I talked to my girlfriend for a very long time on the phone last night. We talked about a lot of things. We always do. I intended for the conversation to be about 20 minutes because we were talking about our families and how the week was going to be for us (seeing as we are very close to the end of the school year). Well, we talked for like two hours. And it was great. I love talking to Sydney Kate (that’s her name) because she listens to my rambling and my ridiculous antics better than anyone I’ve ever met. I mean, if you think Caffeinated Christianity is bad, try knowing me personally. It’s a circus. I really came to grips with something last night during our conversation that I have a hard time explaining to people. And maybe you do, too. I suspect, if you’re a true Christian, you feel like this often. If you don’t, then don’t tell me. Let me live in my weird bubble over here.
I got called to ministry when I was 15. I knew where I was headed from that point forward. I chose largely to ignore that call and do what I wanted to do until I graduated from high school. I did not reflect Christ in high school. I did not do for others what they did for me. And I certainly severely underachieved in a lot of ways. I got to college and realized that it was time for me to be a real future pastor, so I set out to try and act like it. Once again, I did not do a great job. I’m getting better. I’m still pretty rough, but things are moving forward. I’ve gone through a lot of personal and spiritual change these last couple of years. My worldview has changed tremendously. My perspective on what other people truly mean has changed. My self-identity as a Christian has changed. A huge portion of my existence these days is resting solely on the fact that Christ called me to ministry. I realized last night something that I can’t seem to shake or see in other people.
I feel meant for something huge while also simultaneously feeling chained to my inabilities.
When Christ calls us Children, He expects much from us (Luke 12:48). I recognize that. I see that on the smaller scale– praying with people, reading my Bible in the mornings, etc. But when you’re called to ministry, everything seems huge. Everything seems so much larger than life itself. I don’t see people, I see souls. I don’t really see buildings, I see congregations. I don’t see products, I see motives. I don’t see “good enough,” I see “not there yet.” I don’t see what I’ve done, I see what I failed to do. I’ll never admit I was made for this. I’m not made for this. How many of us really are made for our purpose? Truthfully? I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know is I coasted on the assurance of a call to ministry for years. Now that I’m sowing into that call, I realize the burden it truly is. I can’t handle it. I have an extremely hard time sitting on the sidelines and watching the things that Christ came to fix just perpetuate. I also have a hard time compartmentalizing what I want to do and what I’m capable of doing. And it doesn’t just take a call to ministry to experience that.
But, you see, the thing about this burden I carry is that I wasn’t supposed to carry it anyway. That’s why it’s so heavy– it wasn’t made for me. I’m not made for this. I was called to this. To conflate the two is foolish and detrimental. But the call is more than myself. It’s not Cooper’s call to ministry– it’s Christ’s call to ministry that He dropped on my shoulders. He did so knowing that I would wait 3 years to pick up and then proceed to drop it every few months. It’s only recently that I realized I have to let Him carry it for me. If not, it will crush me one day.
I realized last night that I’m living in the midst of my Esther moment. I’m in the middle of Christ’s purpose and Christ’s plan, both of which are out of my control. They are converging on top of me because I have come to grips with the fact that the call to ministry is not an event— it’s a process. I can turn around and legitimately see where Christ was moving to get to the point that I’m even writing this blog. I do not and will not ever believe that I’m the right one God picked for ministry. That clouds my ability to move forward sometimes.
But here’s what I do know for sure. I do know that Christ was and is exactly who He claims to be. I know that my purpose is immensely bigger than I can imagine and that my capabilities are never going to reach their height. I know I’m called to ministry, and I know my limitations in that call. I know that everything is for my good (Romans 8:28). I know that He will supply everything necessary to complete the work in me He needs to show His glory (Philippians 4:19). I also know that Mordecai, Esther’s surrogate father, was talking to her in Esther Chapter 4 when he told her, “… Perhaps you were made for such a time as this.”
But I feel here lately that maybe he was also talking to me.
Perhaps, I was made for such a time as this.
Perhaps, you were, too.