In the following questions we are asked to ponder the impossible we have to do in life and when God enabled us as well as how we know our will is one with God’s as we ask in the Lord’s Prayer. For a moment I was stymied. I don’t recall doing anything I thought was impossible. Does that mean I don’t accept challenges from God? Am I that chicken and don’t hear God? Then I realized. Hello? I am in seminary. A place I never thought I would be. Then I realized, it is time to share some of how I ended up here.
You see, for many years I was interested in pursuing politics as a profession. When I was looking to join the Air Force, I wanted to go in to be a political spin person, like Olivia Pope in ABC’s Scandal. I wanted to be the one who helped turn what didn’t look so good or was dangerous for the American public to know into something innocuous and insignificant. For years! In Savannah, I even had a wealthy gentleman from church tell me he would fund my first run for the Chatham County School Board (talk about a political good old boy system!). That would have been my first ‘in’. But we moved.
In New Jersey I watched my Great Aunt Ruth die of cancer and in those drives to visit with her I had a lot of time to think and pray. I also had a pastor, Dave, who was convinced I was supposed to be in seminary when I was thinking it was my husband who was supposed to go. By the time I watched those shovels pour dirt onto Aunt Ruth’s casket, I knew where God was calling me and it was not Politics. A little sad, I gave up that dream and began discerning a call to ministry.
When Lance asked me recently if this made me happy to be in seminary and if being a pastor would make me happy I had to answer yes and no. It made me sad at first and that was the no. But I told him I could be very content being a pastor and that was even better. He replied he did not want me content but I explained to him that this was a far better happiness. See, deep down inside, what I want more than I wanted a career in politics was to follow God’s will for my life. In giving up politics and following a call to ministry, I am not doing something I do not want to do. I do want to do it. Better yet, is the knowledge that God wants me to do it and that brings a peace and joy so deep down in my soul I cannot express it thoroughly enough. So more than politics, I want to be a Pastor, because God has called me to that and is equipping me for that life. In a way, this is my ‘impossible’ scenario. I know I would be a rotten pastor on my own. But God is giving me all the gifts and skills I need to do God’s will. In that then, I am pursuing my dream and achieving the impossible WITH God.
Oddly enough, a few years ago I helped get the walk on Washington and annual Press Conference on the Capital lawn off the ground. Talk about political. I had to call all the secretaries of all the US Representatives and Congress to see if I could send an invite to them to speak at this instead of the 9/11 10th anniversary event the next day in NYC. If you think anything is impossible, ask for a representatives personal schedulers email! Easier to get the rep’s email but not as effective. I managed the over 200 calls over the weekend for those who would speak to me. By the time all was said and done though, I was wiped out and ready to cry. By the time I opened our press conference on the lawn I was so done with politics that I think I still have post traumatic stress over it. In those moments of clarity, I realized, God had blessed me with that side job as I was entering into seminary that coming fall . It let me see that the dream I had for myself was not at all what I thought and it reassured me that my will now is in line with God’s will. Talk about doing the impossible again… but only WITH God, not on my own.
I may not recall too many impossibles in my life, but I think that is because I have learned to forget that I am alone. God is with me, walking beside me, carrying me when I am weak or unable and that, that is what I am remembering that I forgot in the Garden.