I just read the following quote from The Call, by Os Guinness:
“Ponder, for example, the fallacy of the contemporary Protestant term full-time Christian service–as if those not working for the churches or Christian organizations are only part-time in the service of Christ.”
All I can say is oops! I have caught myself committing this same fallacy by saying that I am now working toward being in full-time ministry, when in fact I should have considered myself to be in full-time service to the Lord long before I heeded the specific call to Seminary. It is so easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we must become involved in a vocation that is directly tied to ministry if we are to realize a life spent in service to God. My call to a vocation of ministry as a Pastor (or whatever God has prepared for me after seminary) is no different than that of a lawyer, or doctor, or school teacher, or stay-at-home mom who engages in their particular vocation because God has led them there.
Those of us whom God does call to a role as Pastor, or Missionary, etc. must be careful not to assume that our particular calling is of greater importance than another in God’s eyes. For as Luther so clearly put it:
“The works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they be, do not differ one whit in the site of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks, but that all works are measured before God by faith alone. . . .Indeed, the menial housework of a manservant or maidservant is often more acceptable to God than all the fastings and other works of a monk or priest, because the monk or priest lacks faith.”
It is my sincerest hope that I, and you with me, will remember that our works are measured by faith alone, and that humility is a trait much exemplified in Jesus Christ, and therefore characteristic of a life lived in service to God.
And may God forgive me for forgetting that a life lived through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ is a life lived in service to him – whatever the vocation of my calling.