Are you on your way to fulfilling your new year resolutions, or, like me, have you already on version 3.0?
I started off the year resolved to quit my job, impatient a replacement to allow me to move from teaching middle school to being a high school librarian has not been found. I made grand plans to become self-employed, maybe move out of Los Angeles and become . . . unemployed and broke?
I was stuck and did not know how to become unstuck. But, despite my requests, God clearly was not talking to me, was playing games of bait and switch.
I made an appointment to meet with my Pastor, because, I told myself, I wanted to get to know my new pastor and to discuss how I could serve the church.
I didn’t realize God was the one calling to meet with me about why I was so angry with him.
My pastor shared with me two things: the discouragement he faced in the beginning of his journey to follow his calling to be a minister and the joy he found in reading the letters my students wrote for Operation Gratitude. He advised me to save mementoes of joy, not only mine, but of joy I inspire in others, such as these letters. “You made that happen,” he reminded me. Yes, but it was just one moment, one day. What about my calling? I left with gratitude, if not an answer.
A few days later, Patty told me she was working on Sunday’s sermon using 1 Samuel 3, a passage about Samuel mistaking God calling him for Eli calling him, and thought of my frustrations. Samuel eventually invites God to reveal himself and listens to God’s message for him. So, I asked God to speak to me, so he did. First, as August Rodin, God reminded me, “Patience is also a form of action.” Next, in the guise of Dan Millman, God advised me, “The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.” Finally, he spoke to me in the letters of reference I requested for the job I really want: a college creative writing instructor. “You have a calling and the talent to meet it,” God comforted.
Resolution Version 5.0: remember the original plan, listen, and wait in joy.
originally published in The Good News, February 2012, by First United Methodist Church North Hollywood