Friday, May 3, 2013

Moses, Jonah, and Me

I used to read the story of Moses or the story of Jonah and scoff at their reactions to God's call. There was Moses standing in front of a burning bush that was speaking to him and his first reaction was basically, "no thanks God, I think you've got the wrong guy." Who does that?? If it was ME (I always thought) I would be grateful for such a direct quest from God. I would be like, "yeah God! I'll take off my shoes and go where you call. Thanks for being so specific!" And of course there is Jonah. Who tries to run from God? He had a specific call and he ran the other way. Come on man, you deserved to get eaten by a big fish.

It always seemed like a direct call would be the best gift God could give because then you would be sure. You could let go of the decision-making and the guessing games and follow.

But then it happened to me. 

Driving down the road I get a call from God. Loud and clear. It started off as my idea and transformed into a new vision, and at first it was exciting. Here I was given a call. As I prayed about it for a few weeks I remember writing in my journal and asking God, Is this what you want me to do? Is this my calling? And I heard that voice, the one that comes from that place where I know it is not my own, and it said just one word: Yes. 

So here was my Moses moment. Here I was being called to a place just like Jonah. What would I do with it? Having read my bible and learned from the mistakes written there I knew I had to go. But I also realized that receiving a call was a lot more scary than I had assumed. With a call you have to go. You can't say no. You can't politely say, "Are you sure? That kind of seems like a lot of work." Though I never considered not going, every now and then little desires popped up. For instance, someone mentioned Canada and my first thought was how I would really like to run away there for a little while (Um, hello. Did I just find my inner Jonah?).

So it seems that I am a little more like Moses and Jonah than I had hoped. Just as they got a little nervous about their call, so did I. I think what the three of us have in common is that most of our apprehensions came from a place of fear. I think for a while there I was romanticizing the reservation. I forgot about how much my heart hurt and how angry I got at God in the midst of the suffering. I forgot that it is a dangerous place, where I can't walk by myself in daylight, and where terrible things happen at the drop of a hat. And when I remembered all the hard, scary parts of working on the reservation I started to get antsy. I started to dream of Europe or Latin America, of going on a cruise or simply hiding away at my friend's house in Georgia. I started to get nervous.

Yet every time someone asks me about my vision, I remember. 

I begin to talk about the stories of the reservation. I begin to explain the vision God has given me to help these girls move toward a better future, and as I talk about my calling I get excited. I start to smile and talk a little faster because in explaining where I am going I get chills. I almost want to stand up and do a little dance because God has given me a passion and a path and He will do the rest.

And so just like Moses and Jonah, I turn around and I answer the call. Because as nervous or apprehensive as I may be I know that the One who sends me will walk there with me.
I know that He will never let me do this on my own. 

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