Yesterday I mentioned my calling to the ministry at that youth snow camp many years ago. I can remember that day like it was yesterday! The Baptist organization that our church was a part of had recently purchased an older camp in the Sierras near the town of Placerville in eastern California. I believe that our regional youth camp was one of the first groups to use the camp. The main building housed a large meeting hall with a kitchen and was situated above the offices and some sleeping quarters. Scattered around the hall were group cabins in various stages of disrepair!
As I lay on my bunk at night I could see through various cracks in the old wooden slat walls out to the snow covered grounds around our cabin! On the second night of the retreat I reclined on my sleeping bag and although I was totally exhausted from all the activities of the day (that was the first time I really appreciated my newly grown beard as it helped to keep my face warm when our kids buried me in the snow!) but yet found myself to be contented and very much at peace.
A little while later I began to quietly pray when the chatter in the cabin went into remission as the boys quartered with me yielded to the tiredness that finally caught up with them. As I prayed I became aware that I had an uncanny sense of satisfaction that filled my heart. It was when I sought to discover the source of the satisfaction that I heard the voice of the Lord begin to talk to me about entering the ministry.
That feeling of satisfaction has become very familiar to me over the years since that cold night in that somewhat snug, but pretty sorry looking cabin! I have sensed that same feeling while leading many a youth service, while having the honor of bringing a congregation of adults, youth or kids into the presence of the Lord through praise and worship, through writing puppet skits, directing Vacation Bible Schools, or making what some might consider a fool of myself as I sang and jumped up and down before an assembly of students at various school chapel services.
I have come to realize that it is a satisfaction that cannot be met by any other means than by serving the Lord with the gifts and talents that He has given me. I would bet that it was the same satisfaction that Jesus must have felt, maybe for the first time, as He sat at the feet of the teachers of the Law in the temple in Jerusalem when He was twelve years old. The Jubilee Bible tells of Jesus’ reply to His parent’s anxious question to Him in Luke 2:49 saying: “How is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that it behooves me to be about my Father’s business?”
According to Dictionary.com the word “behooves” means “to be worthwhile to, as for personal profit or advantage.” The Greek word that is translated “must” in the King James implies “it is necessary as binding.” So not only was Jesus’ need to be “occupied by my Father’s business” (Easy To Read Version) good for His personal benefit, it was something that He was bound to do! In some respects, He probably couldn’t help Himself as He stated “it is my duty to be engaged upon my Father’s business.” (1912 Weymouth New Testament) Doing the work of the Father was the one thing that satisfied the calling Jesus had upon His life. It was the occupation and activity that gave Him satisfaction and meaning in life! Wow! How I can attest to that!
How about you? What activity, calling and occupation gives you satisfaction in your life. What is it that gives you the meaning and purpose in life that fires up the zeal to get out of bed each day? I have known people throughout my journey in this life who are very dissatisfied with their lives. Some come right out and talk admit it, while others demonstrate it through their constant complaining about their jobs, or their spouses, or their kids, or even about the ministry that they are participating in. Just because you may be active in a certain arena of the ministry doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing exactly what the Lord has called you to do!
As we come to an end to 2014 and look with expectation to the New Year which is arriving in just a couple of days, I would encourage you to check out your heart, your thoughts and your mouth in order to locate yourself in this life! Are you satisfied or are you wondering what could have been or what could be if…? Are you speaking out words of complaint or words of thanksgiving? When you shut off the light at the end of the day are you filled with the content joy of satisfaction at knowing that you are doing exactly what Papa God has called you to do?
I know that I have found myself many a time quietly content, tired but yet smiling as I stood at the door with my hands on the light switch and gave the church hall a last once over at the completion and clean-up following a program that took months to prepare for, involved the church congregation and gave glory to God. That feeling of satisfaction can hardly be explained, but flows from deep inside and originates from the very throne room of God! There is just no other feeling in the world like it! Wouldn’t you like to sense that satisfaction in 2015? Have a great day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What sense of satisfaction am I expecting today and expecting to continue through 2015?”