There are numerous ads that promote search engines for finding a job. The commercials make it sound so easy. On some websites, applicants upload their information and wait for businesses and organizations to contact them. Other sites boast about their success rate for finding the right person, with the right skills and experience for their dream job.
That’s not quite how I remember it. During my career as an Audiologist, I had to constantly tweak my resume. New assessment tools were being introduced all the time, and my goal was to quickly become proficient in order to be the top candidate. More often than not, this was the response I heard. “Thank you for interviewing with us, but you’re not quite what we were looking for.” Sometimes I learned why I wasn’t offered the position. I was overqualified, underqualified, didn’t have enough experience, had more experience than the salary permitted, or I didn’t match the academic philosophy of the department.
Some of the interviews were conducted at national conventions. It felt like speed dating. With a pack of resumes in hand, I’d visit different company booths, meet managers, share my training and eagerness to work, and then move on to the next company. It was during one of those visits that I was asked to consider doctoral studies at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis). The professors I met chose me to be part of the next class of students. I felt like I was recognized and welcome. I moved from Cleveland to Memphis with little hesitation because of the way I had been treated from that first greeting.
Then the Lord called me to become a minister. This was an invitation to consider a different kind of job. Jeremiah 1:5 is a clear statement on how our Lord chooses those who are to serve. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart.” I hope these words strike a chord with you. God has plans for us.
For those who are called later in life, we may have the experience of another career to help us become servant leaders, teachers, and preachers. Peter, Andrew, James, and John became fishers of people. Matthew (Levi) was a tax collector, and Judas Iscariot had some experience with counting and caring for money. Until Jesus’ words of invitation transformed their lives…..and ours.
We are living in amazing times. We are still being asked to share the Good News of our Lord and Savior, seeking to make new disciples and transform the world. When we realized that the Lord was asking us to join His team, we may have left another career to do so. God hasn’t asked us to fill out a job application or submit a resume. Our Lord has shaped us to serve in these times. Our gifts and strengths are needed now. Take some time to remember the moment God called you, chose you to be part of this wondrous journey. Each of us, whether we are laity or clergy, has known or will know that special moment when we are invited to join the best team and the greatest workforce there is. And Amen.