When I began to feel the Lord moving me from one vocational arena to another in 2003, from sales to ministry, I began a journey of preparation. It required getting up to date, technologically, and learning to maneuver online learning. Columbia College’s certification program in Christian Education was my entry back into the education milieu since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1976 and certification as a Medical Technologist at Baptist Medical Center’s School of Medical Technology in 1977.
The Christian Education program took two and half years. Then, in 2007, with more clarity about the direction God was leading, I undertook a master’s degree program in counseling and psychology. Once that was completed, in 2009 I began theological studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. Now, I am just six semester hours away from completing that course of study. It is an exciting prospect to be so near to the end of the preparation process.
Even more exciting, however, is realizing that, while God had me earnestly pursuing preparation for ministry, He was moving me into the ministry for which I was preparing gradually and naturally. Now I find myself completing the educational process and already well established in the work for which I have been training.
When I began the process of change and the education preparation, I thought I knew where I was headed. As it has occurred, I am not where I thought I was headed, but I’m right where God intended me to be, I believe.
What a joyful journey this has been, though challenging at times! The thing that I have discovered in the midst of the journey is that obedience to God is an adventure that is well worth the time and effort that it requires.
One translation of a familiar verse in Hebrews calls Christ our “trailblazer and guide”. Christ was the one who recruited me for the journey. Christ has certainly been blazing a pathway for me and guiding me through it each step of the way. And now, as I move toward the end, I find that He is also the One awaiting me at the destination. All along the process He has been present and now invites me to more adventure with Him in the continued journey. This is not actually an ending. It is more like staking a place in the ground where I camped for a while and beginning the next leg of the journey.
For a homebody who resists travel in the physical realm, I find myself surprised by the degree of wanderlust and spirit of adventure I possess spiritually.
The song that comes to mind as I write this is:
“Lead On O King Eternal
The day of march has come
Henceforth in fields of conquest
Thy tents shall be our home.
Through days of preparation
Thy grace has made us strong
And now, O King Eternal,
We lift our battle song.
Lead on, O King Eternal.
We follow not with fears
For gladness breaks like morning
Wherever Thy face appears.
Thy cross is lifted o’er us
We journey in its light
The crown awaits the conquest
Lead on, O God of might.”