Last week I visited two seminaries, The Lutheran Theological Seminaries at Philadelphia and Gettysburg. In speaking with administrators, seminarians, and other prospective students, the subject of call invariably came up. We told our stories of God's call and how we envision that.
After returning home, my sense of the significance of call and God's preparation for that increased. I have a new awareness of being in a time of preparation. I know God called me at 15 to serve him. That service has taken on numerous forms: wife, mother, missionary, employee, student. But there is now a renewed sense of call, that God is working something special in my life. And then I read today's scripture from the lectionary.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 (Today's New International Version)
24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.I can see there's still lots of room for work in my life. I kind of like to argue, especially if I am right. So, if I want to be a worthy servant, no place for being quarrelsome. Kindness, gentle instruction is what is called for. Now the interesting thing about this text is that Paul is not saying we should let people continue in false beliefs, but gently engage them in the truth.
Then I thought of an old song Nancy Honeytree sang in the 70s, "I am a Servant." The lyrics are below. I found myself weeping my way through them as I heard the song again in my mind. If we are the Lord's servants, we are to do his bidding, not our own.
I Am A Servant
I am a servant, I am listening for my name
I sit here waiting I've been looking at the game
That I've been playing and I've been staying much the same
When you are lonely you're the only one to blame
I am a servant, I am waiting for Your call
I've been unfaithful so I sit here in the hall
How can You use me when I've never given all
How can You choose me when You know I quickly fall
So You feed my soul and you make me whole
And you let me know You love me
And I'm worthless now but I've made a vow
I will humbly bow before You
Oh please use me, I am lonely
I am a servant, getting ready for my part
There's been a change, a rearrangement in my heart
At last I'm learning there's no returning once I start
To live's a privilege, to love is such an art
But I need Your help to start
Oh please purify my heart
I am Your servant
Words and Music by Larry Norman
[19 October 2007]
I know the verse that resonates with me, what about you?