The Cost of Ignoring the Call

By: Wayne McMorris

At fifty years old I thought myself a bit long in the tooth to be getting another call to the clergy. But as you will see, God's plans don't always take into consideration your ability (or lack thereof) to think. In my case God's call sort of reminded me of getting pulled over by the police for speeding.

Way back in 1980 God came knocking and said, "Son, you've been living 'fast' for quite awhile, it's time for you to come to me and give back." And I said, "God, let me think on it and get back to you." I thought on it, or rather didn't much, and said, "God, too much is going on in my life and I can't right now." So He wrote me a "ticket."

In 1983 that "ticket" came due, I was diagnosed with HIV. And then God knocked again and said, "Son, you've been living 'fast' for quite awhile, it's time for you to come to me and give back." And I said, "God, let me think on it and get back to you." Then I met a great guy and got this job offer running a law firm and I said, "God, too much is going on in my life and I can't right now." So He wrote me a "ticket."

In 1989 that "ticket" came due, my great guy passed away, and I got sent to Europe for a few years. And God knocked again and said, "Son, you've been living 'fast' for quite awhile, it's time for you to come to me and give back." And I said, "God, let me think on it and get back to you." Then I realized I was pissed off at God for taking my great guy away so I said, "God, too much is going on in my life, plus you've let me down and I can't right now." Imagine my arrogance at telling God HE let me down! And yep, you guessed it - another "ticket."

Well, not to bore you too much but God came and knocked on this granite head of mine several more times over the next decade and a half. Each time he said, "Son, you've been living 'fast' for quite awhile, it's time for you to come to me and give back." And each time I said, "God, let me think on it and get back to you." And then I'd say, "God, too much is going on in my life and I can't right now." And each time I said that God wrote me another "ticket."

Well, it finally sank in. I can't say I ever give in to anything without a fight. I can't say I'm not hardheaded. But I can say when God says He needs you to come to Him and give back, you'd best be ready to set things aside and listen to Him. So in 2006 God knocked and it was the same old conversation. Only this time when I denied Him He the "ticket" cost me almost all that I had. He left me with two dogs, a couple of pair of pants, some shirts and a mismatched pair of shoes. Everything else He took back. Well that was certainly his prerogative, I mean I wouldn't have had any of it if it weren't for him, right?

A few months later God knocked on my granite head and found it wasn't quite so hard this time. And He said, "Son, you've been living 'fast' for quite awhile, it's time for you to come to me and give back. I'm not asking I'm telling." Well, never let it be said you can't teach an old fruit new tricks. I didn't even give it a passing thought, I just said, "God, too much is going on in my life right now, but it can wait, just tell me what I need to do." And God said, "Hit the books I need you to take My message to My children. You've lived a life richer in experience than most, take that experience and The Word and go out and give of yourself to those who hunger for The Spirit."

So here I am fifty years old and in seminary working on a Master's in Clinical Pastoral Counseling and preparing to start on my Doctor of Ministry immediately after.

The gist of the story? God's call can come at birth. It can come right before death. It can be to join the ministry, it can be to care of a friend/kinfolk/others who are unwell, it can be to do many different things. But do not think that God's will can be put off. Clear your mind and heart in a quiet tranquil place and open yourself up to truly "listen" for God's voice. Perhaps He's sending you a call. And once you hear, truly hear Him and give yourself over to His will, then you will find (as I did) that life gets a whole lot better and the "tickets" stop coming due.

Copyright by the author All Rights Reserved

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