Some people just seem to know what their purpose is - their calling. They feel led to work with a particular group of people: children, high schoolers, singles, atv-enthusiasts, etc.
To be honest with you, I don't feel called to any of those (though I do appreciate a little four-wheeling when I get the chance...)
I know that ministry is an important part of being a Christian and growing in my faith and knowledge of God, but I've struggled to discover how that is supposed to play out in my life. Because I know what I'm NOT called to, and it seems to me that stepping out into a ministry field that I am not led to work in, is pretty much just setting myself up for failure. I'm not going to do anyone any good that way.
And that's not to say that I won't ever be called to a more traditionally-considered ministry, because I do believe that God may want us in different places at different times of our lives. But that doesn't change the fact that for a while now, I've had to ask myself, "Where am I supposed to be NOW? Who am I supposed to be ministering to TODAY?"
Somehow, I think I received my answer this past weekend.
I was helping my parents with a catering job, something that I get great pleasure out of doing. I spent a good portion of the day pondering the fact that out of all my siblings, I'm the only one who still does the whole catering thing. And I also couldn't stop thinking that I don't feel the least bit sorry for myself.
I love spending time with my family. I love working alongside them, even when it gets stressful (because let's face it, working with family ALWAYS gets stressful).
It's not a novel realization for me that family is incredibly important to me, and that caring for my family is probably my greatest passion. But for some reason, I hadn't heretofore made the connection that maybe, just maybe, my own family is a mission field. And a mission field that I DO feel called to.
I feel compelled to ask myself, "How can I personally justify looking further for people in need, if I can visibly see that my own family is in need?" The answer, at least the one for me at this time, is that I can't justify it.
I can see that there are members of my family, and those I consider family, who need MORE. More time, more community, more help around the house, more encouragement, more love. And ya know what? So do I. Is it not possible to minister to them with my time, if nothing else?
I am excited to see where this realization takes me, and to see some intentionality develop from it.
God bless ministry, and the beauty that stems from each and every person being called to help those around them, whether that's family, or church family, or orphans, or junior high students. Because it is through these unique callings that God works in the lives of all people, near and far.
And as it turns out, my ministry field might just be a little nearer than I expected.