Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I Lack/ Chapter 3 in "The Whole in Our Gospel"

Matthew 19: 11-17 11 12 Now someone approached him and said, "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?"He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. 13 If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."
14 He asked him, "Which ones?" And Jesus replied, " 'You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother'; and 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"15 The young man said to him, "All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?"
Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, 16 go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
17 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

The gist of Chapter 3 is the struggle the author had when he realized that God wanted him to give up his home, security, and the possibility of great wealth in favor of leading a charitable organization. Mr. Stearns is incredibly honest in his description of his struggle.

I'm not sure what my reaction would be if God moved my husband to quit his present job, sell our home, move across the country, and take a job at about 1/3 the pay (I can't even imagine how we'd survive on that). I suspect I'd think Bob was going through one heck of a midlife crisis, and pray for the grace to stick with him "in sickness and in health." Hopefully I'd also credit Bob with all the ways he stuck by me, move with him hoping for the best. But I'm sure I wouldn't be encouraging him to do this as Mr. Stearns's wife encouraged him.

But for now, God doesn't seem to be asking Bob to do that, and me to follow. The question really is, what is it God wants from us. Where are we called to serve, and are we open to that call? As far as I can remember, I never envied anyone their toys, house, or fancy car. The more toys you have, the move stuff you need to take keep track of... the bigger the house, the more that needs to be cleaned.....(Yes. I know that some hire people to keep their house clean. The idea of paid strangers knowing my faults intimately does not make me envious...) the fancier the car, the more problematic it would be to ding it (My green rusty tin can on four wheels suits me just fine, thank you very much). But when I see a harried twenty some year old mom with four kids who from stress looks old enough to be my mom, I'm jealous. You know my story about being unable to conceive. Bob and I have discussed adoption, and got side tracked on numerous occasions, some legitimate, and others just the discouragement of the enemy. The question here is, are we being called to be adoptive parents, or is my desire to be a parent getting in the way of a calling to go back to teaching. I seriously loved teaching children, but honestly, the parents wore me out. It got to the point that I believed if I stopped a bullet for a child with my own heart, parents would complain I had bled on their children's clothes, and demand reimbursement. Perhaps they'd even sue my estate because I left the children unsupervised when I died...
I'm stepping into substitute teaching, hoping to figure out step by step which direction I am truly called. My husband thinks substitute teaching is a fine idea because it will be easier to drop being a substitute when our papers are in order and a child is in our home than it would be to drop a classroom full of thirty students. Which direction am I supposed to go in? I personally know that I can't go in both directions. Some teachers make wonderful parents, but like I said, the parents, not the students, really wear me out, and I don't believe I'd have anything left in me to give a child if I went back to teaching.
Perhaps like Mr. Stearn, I'll find that on this road, I'm being given a push in one direction or another, and God's will for me will be clear.


jasonS said...

Helen, thanks for the honest, transparent post. I know how discouraging dealing with the 'system' of teaching can be and the struggles of infertility (both through my wife's experiences). I pray again that God gives you wisdom and clarity, that He opens that door than no man can shut.

Thank you and God bless...

HisFireFly said...

Praying that when He speaks, His voice will be clear and unmistakable.

JC Dude said...

I love the way you're opening your heart for His will to be done...priceless.