29 January 2009

Obedience Without Compromise

I have been sick.
For 4 days.

And in my slug-like state, I have had a lot of time to think and pray about what it is that I am doing and what, exactly, I should be doing.

This whole business of having a "call" upon one's life... it's not something to take lightly.
Just ask anyone who's been there.
When God gives you a vision for your life, it's totally up to you whether or not you accept it.
After all, we do have freedom to choose for ourselves.

But a wise Christian will know that choosing anything outside of HIS will is risky business, indeed. While one path is guaranteed to bring you eventual (not always immediate!) peace and contentment in your life, the other path is almost equally guaranteed to be less than fulfilling, sometimes downright painful.

Even so, if you DO accept the call, you must know that the call will now supersede all the other "plans" you may have had for your life.
Those plans may be absolutely wonderful -- life-giving and selfless -- but if they interfere in any way with your calling, no matter how GOOD they are, it cannot work. You have to submit everything to the path you have chosen and listen to HIS directions.

You're probably wondering what I'm talking about, but I've been put to a test this week...

When "Thrive" (our inner-city ministry through the Dream Center) ended in October, I was very sad. I have become very attached to those ladies over the past 2 years and I knew it would be hard to not see them regularly. Each week, I came away just as blessed and encouraged as anyone who attended.
Around the same time Thrive ended, God made it pretty clear to me that I need to get this book finished. In obedience, I cut back on all my obligations and I even stepped down from Elevate -- a decision that I wrestled with for more than 2 weeks.
But I KNEW -- absolutely, without a doubt -- that I was doing the right thing.
And I have made considerable progress on my book.
But it's still not done.

Fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago:
I found out that the Baton Rouge Dream Center is going to start up a NEW Friday group for the ladies and I am asked to co-lead with Jennifer Maggio.
Of course, all I can think about is how I can't wait to see "my ladies" again & how many great ideas we can implement in the group...
Within a day of telling Jennifer "yes," conviction set in.
A Friday commitment would take about 5 hours each week and that's not including planning meetings and personal preparation for the classes.
As much as I support the idea of this class and even though it will kill me not to see Mrs. Augustine and Mrs. Mary and Kenya and the others each week, I know that I cannot commit to it now.

The day I made the decision to step down from the Friday class, I received a call from a wonderful lady in Texas who wanted to use my book to lead a Christian weight loss support group.
I had to confess to her that my book was not quite finished, much less published.

Ok, God.
I hear You, loud and clear.
And I know the path I have chosen is the only one I want to follow.


Evelyn said...

I've also put off what I once heard Loud & Clear http://efazzio.blogspot.com/2007/11/call-to-write.html
Your post was exactly like that 'phone call' for me,
looks like it's back to writing again.
Any pointers you can share in regards to publishing would be deeply appreciated.

The Maggio Family said...

girl, you are doing what's right. i understand about wondering what "the call" entails. i too wonder that. but i keep on keeping on. you are awesome. dont worry about the ladies....God'll bring you back in his perfect timing.