By Gerry Wakeland
Recently I had a conversation about calling and vision. I recall remarking that I would never have predicted where I am in ministry today. Do we ever really grasp the potential and possibilities that lie before us? If we could see the “Big Picture” would we embrace it with enthusiasm, or just hide under our beds?
Many of us in our early walk tend to cling to the words in Jeremiah 29:11 that assures us of God‘s plan for our life, a plan to give us a future and a hope. For some of us, the plan takes longer to take shape than we had hoped.
For years my own calling was nebulous. I knew that I wanted to serve God and to do His Kingdom work. I just didn’t know what that looked like in specific terms. So, I did whatever I was asked to do. In talking to a pastor recently, he asked what responsibilities I had held in the church. I thought about it a moment and responded, “pretty much everything.” And over the years I have. I have served wherever I was asked. While this provides the time and experience to develop a vision, it doesn’t always support the call we have been given.
Every year as the time for the CLASS Writers Contreat (formerly conference) draws near I talk to a lot of men and women who want to write. They believe God wants them to write, but “they’re just not sure.” I hear lots of excuses.
I remember when asked to come to Albuquerque to take on the leadership of the CLASS ministry I was at a crossroads. I was waiting for the Lord to give me a new assignment. I had no idea what it would be. I must admit that I did not “see” what God had in mind. But I knew I was to obey. Now years later, the vision and the call have become clearer. Not my vision, but His call.
I have come to realize that too often we struggle with filling in all the blanks. We need to recognize our call and then embrace it. Developing a mission statement and setting goals are important components of the process, but not to the degree that we do not leave space for God to work in us, for Him to clarify the call, and then give us the mission, the goals, the vision.
Perhaps you are one who has the desire to share the message God has given you. Maybe you are waiting for all the pieces to fall into place, for all the blanks to be filled in. Let me encourage you, “Don’t Wait!” Take a risk, a step of courage, and join us at the 2017 CLASS Writers Contreat. You may be surprised at what God has in store for you.
God has taught me a lot over the years. One of the greatest lessons has been about vision. I have learned that the vision needs to come from Him. And if I wait and walk in obedience He will reveal it to me. One bit at a time. This way I can embrace it with excitement and anticipation and not have to spend too much time hiding under the bed!