The two of you that have read my blog before (thanks Mom and Dad) know that I have a real admiration for Phil Vischer. In the past this was largely born out of the impact that he has had on my sons' lives as the brains behind Big Idea and VeggieTales, but I have a new appreciation for him since he has left the daily operations of the company he found. I was reading an interview with him recently where he let loose with this gem of wisdom:
"What I’ve learned to do is to remember very specifically what God has called me to do. It’s very easy for us to put other things onto that and the calling gets very specific over time; ‘He called me to tell stories, he called me to tell computer animated stories … with my own animation studio … in a really nice building’ and so it goes on. ...‘he called me to serve the church ... in this neighborhood … in this store … to those people … with this shelving and store layout’. But what did God actually tell you to do? Serve the church? Hang on to that tightly, hold everything else loosely."
This is incredibly wise as I have a tendency to put my service for God and with the church into very specific terms. I have been called to teach God's Word and I remember when God dried up every opportunity for me to teach in an adult class. I was not sure what He was trying to do and I do remember feeling badly about the lack of prospects that I had to do that. I also recall when He opened the door for me to teach children (from Kindergarten to sixth grade) and that I initially viewed it as a demotion of sorts. But, I can't remember how quickly this happened, I determined that I was not going to treat this like minor league ball. God called me to teach and I was going to teach...regardless of the setting in which I did it. I determined to give it my all and even to innovate.
Well, I am back to teaching adults and thank God for the opportunity I had to teach kids. He showed me something that Phil Vischer has clearly articulated. There are very few things in this life (God's revealed will being the bulk of it) that I know for certain. I can't treat my desires as Gospel truth and expect Him to sit around and let me spin my life's story for me. He stepped in and, in radically altering my reality, shook up my thinking. He stripped it down to the basics and, painful as it was, it was a gift that I needed.