I feel like this passage has been haunting me this Easter season:
"Very truly, I tell you,
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a
single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor." -John 12:24-26 (NRSV)
Here's what I read about it in the Green Book last week:
"In a word, earthly life is but the first, very short stretch of a journey to be done; it is very far from completing it. This is the time of 'the grain of wheat that dies in the earth'; it lasts the space of a day as against the thousand thousand years of God." -Carlo Carretto, Journey Without End
I've also been listening to old sermons a lot lately, thinking about the cost of ministry in general and about pioneer missionary Rev. Harmon F. Schmelzenbach and the subsequent generations of his family in particular.
And hearing this quote in Pastor Carl's sermon yesterday helped sort of tie it together for me:
"I think a lot of us are not on a path; we’re in a rut. We have confused comfort with peace, belief with faith, safety with
wisdom, wealth with blessing, and existence with life. And for many of
us, our dreams will be buried under the epitaph, 'I refused to let go of
what I had.'" -Erwin McManus
All of this is kind of sums up why I feel (now more than ever) that God is calling us to some sort of full-time ministry. Whether that's on a missions field or back in the States, in traditional or bi-vocational ministry...yeah, I still have no idea.
But here's why I feel okay about it all:
"You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that my father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another." -John 15:16-17 (NRSV)
He is faithful!! :)