OK, so I took my own challenge seriously and listened to God. It wasn’t as bad as I expected actually. Not that I think I have finished the listening process or anything but I have realised that if I listen, he usually speaks.
Last year, I was thinking about what I would do after finishing my Masters degree. I lead a church obviously and am supported part-time to do that. But what about the other half week? So this time last year, I was not only thinking but, as is my wont, I was worrying. At that time though, God graciously showed me that whilst I could create my own working solutions at the end of the Masters, he wanted me to let him bring things to me. He also said that I should not look for work that simply uses gifts and sets of skills that I have; rather I am to seek work which flows naturally out of who I am.
Well, a year on and I’ve done some more worrying again. On the same topic. But what God said keeps resonating in my heart. I am not to create my own solutions but I am to look at what opportunities he is bringing to me right now. And I am to think in terms of work which comes out of who I am, not just what I can do.
And as I listened to God over the last few days, he’s shown me two things which he has already brought into my path in the last couple of months. One is a short-term theological teaching opportunity and the other is a possibility (not yet confirmed!) of having one or even two of my theological essays published in an academic journal. And I know that these things flow out of who I am. I can’t help writing and I can’t help teaching, just like I can’t help building the local church. I would do these things for free. (Don’t tell the trustees at my church though!)
In fact, I want to write a book. I’ve only really just started to admit this to myself in the last few weeks. I’d always said it’d be a job for later in life. But maybe God is leading me to have a go now. I also want to teach the Bible and applied theology. The problem with these is that neither is exactly what you might call a stable option. In fact, after these opportunities to teach and write, I can’t see where the next opportunities might come from. And I hate not knowing. But that’s God through and through, isn’t it? Why show me everything when he can use this as an opportunity to grow faith in me?!
So maybe I will keep trusting and keep listening…and maybe God is going to unfold a path for me which is more beautiful and more fulfilling than anything I could ever imagine. He is, Scripture says, a rewarder of those who seek him. But can I let myself go enough to trust him?