February 15, 2019
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
When I was a kid I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. Maybe a teacher, like my dad, a cowboy, like John Wayne and my dad, a farmer, like my dad, and a school bus driver, like my dad. (Are you seeing a theme here?) But as I got into high school, I still wasn’t sure. I had thought about being a medical doctor, an optometrist, a coach, and certainly a farmer. But then God got ahold of me and called me to be a pastor. The moment of my call I knew beyond a shadow of doubt this was what God had for me. But I’ll be honest, in the early years of my ministry I wasn’t sure how to handle the multiple roles I held in my life. I was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a pastor. I thought being a pastor would redefine all the rest of the roles in my life. I remember being perturbed having to change diapers at home. “I bet Billy Graham didn’t have to change diapers,” I thought. When supper wasn’t ready for me when I came home from long day at the church I often thought, sometimes out loud, “I bet Dr. King had supper waiting for him when he came home.” When I went to my hometown to see my siblings and parents I wanted them to treat me like the highly esteemed reverend I knew I was in my mind. But they still treated me like their younger brother or son.
The problem was that my vocation had begun to define who I was. It wasn’t long until I realized it was toxic to my soul to think I was only a pastor. So I started asking that people call me Lesly, instead of Pastor, Preacher, or Reverend. I understood they were mostly using my title as a sign of respect, but I had become lost in my vocation. I had lost my self-identity as a child of God.
This is just one aspect of my Vocation.Life that I’ve struggled through over the years and I know I’m not the only one. Whether you are a medical doctor, a trash collector, a teacher, a secretary, or retired we all struggle with a healthy understanding of our vocations, or lack of vocations. This Sunday at First Church OKC we will continue our series entitled One.Life by examining what the Bible says about our vocations, how we can have a healthy understanding of our jobs, how we should approach retirement and joblessness, and what really defines us. I look forward to seeing you in worship this Sunday morning at 10:45 at First Church OKC!