I love to teach. I LOVE to teach. Truly, I love to teach.
Of late I have fretted and fumed each time I have offered to teach. Especially when faced with being the "older" woman to newly-wed, hope-filled brides.
I DO love to teach. Especially God's word to the pre-prepared soil of the hearts of tween girls. And love it, I do, when I learn so much more than I'm going to teach.
Because for me teaching is all about the preparation.
I have struggled of late to try and change my demographics. You know, I AM older now. (Don't laugh! Sure YOU knew I was old, but my heart remains slightly older than a tween. Wish my body knew that.)
I tried to teach the young women's study, but it was a fiasco. I couldn't get myself behind me, away from me, out of the way, so that God's Self, His Spirit, His leading could fill me and use me.
So I gave up. Don't judge me. It's not that I gave up, caved in, ducked under the covers and never poked my head out again.
If I had, we wouldn't be here now.
No, I gave up trying to "mature" my Spiritual gifts along with my age.
(I downloaded my camera pics and found over 100 mostly taken by Drew! She's my little artist. And these were all in July! Yes, we needed jackets in that last pic! In JULY!)
You see, I've been working with the tween girls for . . . about . . . well now, its been over 30 years now! Yikes! I was called late to God's salvation. I wasn't a youth when I was hauled (no lovingly slow and easy adoption here), I was HAULED kicking and screaming into God's family.
So that means, 30 plus 20-something, makes me, okay, I can say it. I'm 58.
I figured I was getting too old to do the middle school thing. It hurts to run now and throw a ball? No way. I KNOW I am too old to keep up with the youth. Especially when it comes to Ultimate Frisbee in the dark with blinkie necklaces and lit-up discs. (That was SO ultimately fun! Sorry for knocking down the 6th grader that ran into me!) Did you hear they want to make Ultimate Frisbee into an Olympic Sport? Yeah!
But I digress.
I thought that I was too old, too mature, too from the we-didn't-even-have-remote-controlled-TVs age group. It's hard to relate to these techno wizards who are socially connected 24/7.
Too old. Maybe.
But God's calling to ministry is not based on my ability. I'll repeat that, not for you, but for me! God's calling to ministry is not based on MY ability. (Funny that until I wrote that I hadn't really thought of it before. Thank you, Father.)
Shortly after becoming a Christian I found myself teaching Sunday school to Kindergartners. Then a need arose to lead the 6th grade girls and I jumped at the chance. They know how to read, right?
And what joy I found in allowing God to use me to teach His truths to these up-and-coming adults!
Third times a charm, so I'll repeat myself. God's calling to ministry is not based on MY ability. And I thank Him for that truth.
I gave up trying to "grow up" in ministry. He is not calling me to lead women's ministry. And I've learned that there is no better place to be than in the center of God's will for you! And His will for me is to teach and love on middle school kids.
How about you? Did God call you to rock babies in the nursery on Sundays? If He did, don't feel guilty that you enjoy it so much. I confess that I totally dislike it. Okay, I'll say it honestly. I HATE working in the nursery. So, please, please, please continue to love on those wee ones, and rejoice there.
Maybe He called you to mercies and with mercy to cook, really well. And you LOVE doing it! Keep at it! (Yes, another pet peeve on mine, though I do volunteer for funeral food.)
Maybe, just maybe, you haven't found that perfect place to serve yet. I urge you to keep trying. Try all of the opportunities at your church. And pray.
James 1:5 reads "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all (wo)men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him (her)."
If you need some further reading, outside of your Bible, I recommend Radical by David Platt and Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper.