Tuesday, April 22, 2008

hearing illinoise

It wasn’t pouring rain, it was attacking rain. These weren’t the nice little droplets that leave behind puddles and rainbows; no, these were relentless, angry, accelerated little bullets of water determined to make it impossible to see through the windshield and make our seven hour drive miserable. We got started later than planned and drove through the enemy rain for most of the trip. On multiple occasions, I was pretty sure we were going to succumb to the slippery conditions and bad drivers ending up in a heap of twisted metal and bloody carnage. But we didn’t. After a hellish journey under the relentless rain we arrived safely in Champaign, Illinois.

It seemed like a long shot. Me, doing anything related to youth ministry? After all, I’ve spent the last five years getting a Bachelor’s degree in New Testament Theology! Surely I’m destined for a more glorious future than ordering pizza and planning games. When my friend Kyle called me a few months ago about the possibility of working with him in youth ministry after graduation the idea seemed silly. The only reason I considered it was because Kyle called me. As the process went further along I was sure that I wasn’t what the church was looking for. Then, they continued to pursue the possibility because they couldn’t find what they were looking for, or they didn’t know what they were looking for. I still felt uneasy about the idea but it just kept coming up. Everyone I talked to raved about how healthy of a church it is. Eventually, they invited us for a visit and we accepted their hospitality. It was a joy to hear firsthand how God is working in Champaign.

Over the last few weeks and months Margo and I have been asking God to show us what the next step in our lives will look like. We have had two main options and a slew of questions related to each: Emmanuel School of Religion or Lincoln Christian Seminary? What about work? What about scholarships? What about the communities we will be a part of? All of this while trying to finish assignments for this semester so that we can actually graduate and move on to the next step. Needless to say, it has been a stressful process. Our trip this last weekend provided us with definitive clarity about what God has called us to next. The call to serve students alongside of friends was too clear to ignore.

I have been forced to ask myself, “Will I refuse to listen to God’s call because I’m not a youth ministry major?” No, this is the voice of God even if it sounds like illinoise.

I’m listening.


Logan Greer said...

Freakin'... Awesome...

Stephen Lawson said...

Glad to hear it.
Though, I do wish you guys were going to Emmanuel with me.

But I am sure that our paths will cross many times in the future.

I will see both you and your wife when I head back to Joplin for graduation. We should have a reunion poker night for old times sake.

peace be upon you brother.

Jordan D. Wood said...

I absolutely agree with stephen.

wonky73 said...

What Church? I live in Champaign