Today’s Scripture Selection: Ephesians 4:1-5

“As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ministers, at least the good ones, spend a fair amount of time thinking about their calling.  They regularly examine whether they are fulfilling their vocational calling; and whether they are still fulfilled doing it.  They look at how close they feel to the original sense of purpose they once had; and how it has changed as their lives have changed.  They prayerfully ask themselves – as honestly as they can – if they are in line with God’s will for their lives.

But what about those who have not been officially ordained and “called” to be in ministry?

Well, I think it is just as important for these individuals to think about their calling.

We all have gifts; we all have unique personalities; we all have strengths; and we all have weaknesses.  God knows all about that.

And God calls each of us to take what we have been given and who we are – and put it into service in His name.  The old term for this is “vocation”.

So – what’s your vocation?  What is God calling you to do – at this point in your life’s journey?  Are you satisfied or frustrated; clear or confused about it?  Are you just finishing one part of it – ready for a little R&R – or are you just beginning a fresh, new, exciting part of the journey?

Prayerfully ask God to show you where you are – and where God wants you to go next.

And your “calling” as a servant of God will grow and grow in grace and meaning – every single day.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for calling me into service in your name.  Lead me and guide me.  And may the glory and honor be yours.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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