As I mentioned last time in my blog that it was over 30 years ago I committed to God that I would go where ever he lead and do whatever He wanted. As I entered my senior year at Philadelphia College of Bible, I wasn’t exactly sure what my commitment to God meant in terms of service, ministry and work. As I was working in the post office I believed God could use me, if He so chose, right were I was. In the mid-80’s the term “going postal” had become part of the American vocabulary because of several high profile shootings involving postal employees. Understanding the postal environment led me to believe Christ could use me as a light in that place. By fall of 1985 I had completed Postmaster training, had an excellent rating on the pass program (supervisory promotion program) and had completed a customer service representative program.
In the fall of 1985 I was interviewed for an EEO position (Equal Employment Officer) and though I didn’t get the management level position I was assured the post office had something else for me. At the same time I applied for a position as a substance abuse counselor in Syracuse, NY. It was a position counseling postal management people who had substance abuse issues. Interestingly in the postal office if you were just a regular employee with a substance abuse problem you would be terminated. But if you were management personnel they had a special counseling program available for you. Shortly after I applied for this position the post office instituted a promotion freeze. At the same time I was going out and ministering in various churches doing pulpit supply on Sundays.
Sometime in the late fall of the 1985, I went to speak to the Dean of Students about some issues I was having with one of my classes. At the end of our conversation, Dr. Larry McKinney shared with me that the church he had grown up was soon going to be losing their Pastor and he wanted to give them my name as a perspective candidate for their church. He explained that it was a small rural independent Bible church that was yoked together with a small Church of the Brethren church. Well the rest is history as I had already committed to God that I would go wherever He asked me to go. Two weeks after graduating from PCB I candidated for 2 churches in rural Western Pa. and they both called me to be their next pastor.
Perhaps one of the more interesting features of that call was that within 2 weeks of accepting the call, I received a call from the post office to come to Syracuse for a job interview for the counseling position. It would seem if God has actually called us to serve Him in someway that the devil’s going to entice us away from God’s call by whatever means he can. I guess I could have gone to Syracuse assuming I probably wasn’t going to get the job anyway. But do you keep climbing the corporate ladder or in my case the postal ladder after you’ve said “God has called me to do this ministry”? I didn’t. I am reminded of Jesus’ words in the 9th chapter of Luke’s gospel where He says “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God” (v. 62 NASB). These words were spoken to someone who simply wanted to go home and say good-bye to his family. The call to discipleship and ministry is a great challenge but let us make sure we keep our hand on the plow and our eyes focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.
All for Christ,