I had approached my recent vacation with a sense of expectation. My expectation was that God would somehow speak to the inevitable frustrations of ministry I was wrestling with.
I listened for the Lord for most of my vacation week... and heard nothing. Frustration and impatience began to bubble inside me. I took a long walk one night and let God know that I really needed some direction. Ministry is hard, and I was looking for some relief.
And then, on our last day at our friends' lovely lake house, I read these words Ruth Haley Barton had written in her book Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership regarding the conundrum of God's calling:
This is not about making a brilliant career move. It is not about security. It is not about success or failure or anything else the ego wants for us. It is not about choosing from several attractive options. This is about the Spirit of God setting us on our feet and telling us, "This is yours to do. Whether they hear or refuse to hear, whether it feels to you as if you are failing or succeeding, you are to speak my words."
And when I had finished reading these words, I was ready to head home.