Quod Scripsi Scripsi (quodscripsi) wrote in luthseminarians,
Quod Scripsi Scripsi
quodscripsi
luthseminarians

Strange Question

I have a strange question. How often do people resist their call before they accept it or is a true call so moving that you embrace it straight out?
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I think it is fairly common for people to resist a call. Sometimes there are situational factors. For example, my mom felt a call to ministry at a time when society did not accept women as ordained leaders. So she did not follow it until many years later. Sometimes there are personal factors. When I first felt the call to ordained ministry, I thought there was no way I could get up in front of people and preach. So God proved me wrong and lead me to places where I could lead and speak in front of people. God calls imperfect people, and we all doubt at times that we are able to carry out our vocation. I think calls are discerned along the way and don't know of any who embrace them fully from the start.
generally, i've heard many people run scared from calls - or if not run, at least have a lot of doubts.

also, calls aren't always the clearest thing. sometimes you can have more than one call, and any decision would be ok. may seem nice and easy, but also can be harder, because there are two right decisions!

essentially what is needed is prayer and thought, perhaps input from friends and relatives
I know I ran!!!! I even came up with this great line to brush off the Questions. Someone would say, "Have you ever thought about becoming a pastor," or "You would be great in the ministry," and blow me off my rocker! Then one day I had my line, "We are all called to 'make desiples of all nations,' and so I do in my daily life." But is was slow in revealation.

I didn't grow up in the church. I never had a traditional catechism class. Nor had I actually ever read the Small Catechism prior to moving to Ann Arbor. But what started as my growth in the knowledge of the faith, God began to make things a lot more obvious!

After changing churches in pursuit of what I wanted, a fabulous job in a fabulous area designing to my hearts content.....where I fell flat on my face and all my distractions were taken from me. Again came the echos from church members, the new pastor, even customers who I waited their tables. The strangest one being these two old people, not a couple- just friends! (I made that assumption and they let me know to the contrary!) They got their beverages, I brought the salads, I brought the meal, and on a check up... they stopped me. They said they began to eat and forgot to pray, then they asked if I would say their dinner prayer! (All as I was debating whether I should open my own business or become a pastor) I couldn't deny their request. So there in the middle of the restaraunt amongst the chaos of the dinner rush, I began to pray and the din of noise quieted. As I continued on, the table next to the elderly folks bowed thier heads, the small section of the room became quiet until the 'Amen' and with a "Thank You," I departed the table and the looks on peoples faces! Some Joyful! Others puzzled. Come to find out the old man was Catholic and she was a Methodist.

I fought God for close to 5 years with such comments! I'm sure he'll make use of the experiences that I have seen through my rebellion, though I know not how he'll do it. I hope that one day, God willing, I can fight for him, with him, in service toward him even more diligently.
that's awesome

you are definitely a person who is called for a specific purpose.
I - have been wondering whether I would simply fit in one of a few places just really well, and it doesn't matter - kind of like when a pastor has a call to two or three different places at the same time. While it's nice to know that i have many talents....making a decision in which it seems like both answers are right is really hard!!

maybe sometime we'll have time to chat. who knows. we're both so busy!!!
The name of this community is Luthseminarians, The man it was named for is Martin Luther. It took a Thunderstorm to have him accept his call, and some sources say that he was thinking about it for years. :-)

The (attempt at) humor aside, it is not uncommon for people to resist the call. Personally, my call was so unmoving and happened over so long a time, and so early in my life, that there is no true moment that I can call a call.

And, do not forget Jonah, he did not only resist his call, he flat out rejected it, it took God having him swallowed by a whale, in order for him to finally agree that he was being called, and to accept it.

The bottom line is that, it is different for different people, some people have a thunderstorm experience out of the blue, and go straight into ministry. Some people question for so long that God sends them into a thunderstorm. Some people reject the call and God makes it so there is no other way. Some people are just struck one day, and others are struck over several days so that they cannot see doing anything else with their lives, and cannot remember a time when they did.

It is important that you believe that you have been called (and that the church agrees [the candidacy process]) no matter the circumstances of that call.
Five years or more. At least that's my experience. Otherwise these other chaps are pretty spot-on.
I know in the ELCA they consider the discernment process 4-5 years at least (usual length of seminary) so they expect it to be continually developing and changing. I also know a few folk that were just at such a loss that they were reaching out for a niche in community and a spiritual connection at the same time and misinterpreted it as a call to ministry.
Can I suggest? Share your sense with as many people as possible and get their feedback. Sometimes the ones who know you best as well as perfect strangers can tell something about yourself that you cannot yet identify.