Good Folks, it is Friday, June 10, 2016. Father’s Day is Sunday week.
FYI: Today is National Ballpoint Pen, Black Cow, Herbs & Spices, and Ice Tea Day.* You choose what you want to celebrate. This also has nothing to do with my article today.
I came across this prayer in a recent United Methodist Men (UMM) newsletter sent from their national headquarters. I wanted to share with you the prayer:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” Thomas Merton in Thoughts in Solitude
You have often heard me talk about God’s will and direction, and knowing if you are on the right path. I was asked at a recent ACCESS service this question, “How do you discern if it is a true calling from God, or just something you just want to be a calling from God?”
I cannot remember my exact answer, but what I remember was that it led to my faith journey story. Being and becoming a pastor of a church was not on my personal radar. I wanted to be a medical doctor (until grades cut that thought short), or a marine biologist (which I had a great passion for). After graduation, I went to work with and for my dad at the family fish market business. It was at the age of 23 that received a call into ministry, but not until almost 30 years of age did I accept.
Since then, I have always relied on God’s prompting to nudge me in the direction that would best suit His plan. Often, God was quiet. Silent. Then God would show me in ways unique to me that I was on the right path. As much faith that I had, God also knew I also believed by sight.
This prayer reminds me that for 32+ years, God had been my source of direction. Yes, he puts folks to assist … like my beloved Edna and many church folk. But prayer is what you begin with and you never end the conversation with God.
Everyone is part of God’s plan for his kingdom. It is a good plan and will make a difference, but God is looking for folks willing to be prepared and willing.
I leave you with this scripture, Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33 (Frank’s paraphrase)
On July 1, 75 clergy members of the annual conference will begin a new appointment. I ask that you lift up in your prayers these 75. Three years ago, I was one of these folks and I coveted your prayers then as I do today.
Blessings from Duncanville, Pastor Frank