Friday, May 14, 2010

My Call

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Disclaimer: I'm about to bare a little bit of my soul here, a little bit more than usual. If transparency bothers you, don't say you weren't forewarned. 

We are going way back, I mean way back.  Back to high school graduation.  At my private, Christian school graduation I was one of just a few that had absolutely no idea what I was going to school for.  I had applied to a local community college with an undecided track.  I was hoping soon that something would pop up for me.  I figured I could take care of the gen ed's first then maybe by that point a major would sound somewhat appealing.  I had a lot of things that sounded good and that I thought I could maybe do, but nothing clicked, or made me purr.

That is, until, November 1998.  I was going to turn 19.  I was in a bible study that I attended each week and was asked to read from Isaiah 6.
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
       "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
       the whole earth is full of his glory."  4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
 5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
      And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

I cannot tell you the experience I had reading this.  It was like I had been moved from the living room of my pastors house to the throne room of God, to the actual spot Isaiah was in.  I felt like the Lord was speaking to me.  And I felt like He was asking me, who will I send?  Who will go for us?  And I answered just as Isaiah had, Here am I.  Send me!  And I was excited!  I wanted to go.

From then on I pursued an education in bible studies/pastoral studies/christian studies something like that.  I didn't want to be a pastor, I didn't want to be a missionary, I didn't want to be a preacher.  I just wanted to absorb all I could about the bible, about God, about Christ.  I wanted more.  So I applied to a seminary and they accepted me.  Their program was a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Christian Studies Emphasis, Pastoral Studies Focus.  A really long title that means those who are old enough when they enter can be ordained within the denomination I am a part of.  I was not old enough.  That's ok, I still don't feel God calling me to be ordained.

I went to seminary, studied hard, met my very BFF and my sweet hubby.  I also had a homiletics class.  According to the seminary's catalog the course of homiletics is:

Students demonstrate understanding of a theology of preaching and the application of exegesis and hermeneutics in developing biblical sermons suitable for contemporary settings. They identify the biblical and theological basis for preaching; explore the nature of contemporary settings in which preaching takes place; and prepare, deliver, and critique sermons.
Did you catch that last part?  I'll repeat it, just so we're clear.  PREPARE, DELIVER AND CRITIQUE SERMONS.  Hello!  I am not a public speaker!  I am not going to be a pastor and I don't want to do that!  You see, I had to put together a sermon and deliver said sermon to a classroom of my peers.  Only thing is, said classroom is not my peers.  The program I was a part of was fairly new when I got in it.  In fact, I was the second young woman to enter it.  The first one was my BFF.  She had been in it a whopping 4 months before I came along.   We were so very alone there.  Most of the people there were older men, some where old enough to be our fathers.  And most were already pastoring churches.  They were preparing and delivering sermons on a weekly basis, taking this class was going to be cake.  Not for me.  I had only given a handful of speeches before in my life and they were before peers.  You know, other high school students or college students who couldn't give a rip about what I was saying.  And now they wanted me to do what?  I was too far vested into the program to drop out, so I gritted my teeth and took the class. 

I have a feeling this is going to be long, so I'm going to finish the rest of this in Part 2.  Tune in next week....

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