Open to God's Call
Sometimes God leads us places we never desired to go, as today's devotional writer, Ben Simpson, describes in the following blog:
I never intended to be a writer.
My earliest aspirations were to be a professional athlete or an attorney. If not those professions, what I sought was an occupation that did not have much to do with people — quiet work behind the scenes of a company, physical labor that was necessary and valued but outside the limelight and away from the center stage. Instead, I ended up sensing God’s leading toward pastoral ministry. I majored in religion at Baylor University. I went to seminary. I obtained another advanced degree in religion from The University of Kansas. For a time, I worked in church leadership. I also worked in a coffee shop and as a bus driver and as a lawn man. But at some point along the way, I sat down and started writing.
Much like many other aspects of my life, my writing for The Upper Room was the result of meandering. While serving as a youth pastor, I wrote a handful of entries for Devozine (Upper Room’s magazine for teenagers). And one day, on a whim, I submitted work to The Upper Room.
I’m glad I’ve done the work.
My writing life has been akin to walking into territory where I have not been invited — and likely don’t belong — and making myself right at home. I’m that friend — the guy you know and may like, but also the guy who picks and prods and jolts your mind with thoughts welcome and unwelcome. And my hope is that what you read or the things I say might make you think more carefully about your life and about God and the ultimate questions — the things that really matter. And because I firmly believe that the answers to those questions are found in Jesus Christ, I point to him, and I pray you look beyond me and see him. My life, and my writing, is a wrangling with words in an effort to get people to look at Jesus.
So I nurture my family. And I work jobs. And I volunteer. And every bit of life that I experience, I filter through the lens of this question: “What does this have to do with following and knowing Jesus?” Every now and again, when God graciously gives me what I believe to be an insight, I write it down and share it — whether through my blog or in a conversation with friends. The Spirit then blows where it wills.*
That is the ride I am on. And the gospel is this: there’s more room. Jesus is the One who says this, not me. So come on board. Join the conversation. Write. Read. Reflect. Grow. And witness.
— Ben Simpson
Ben is a writer, speaker, and theologian residing in De Soto, Kansas. He enjoys spending time with his daughter, Joy, and his wife, Molly, who is a United Methodist elder. Visit his Website: http://www.benjaminasimpson.com/ or connect with him on Twitter: twitter.com/#!/bsimpson .
*Jesus said, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."