Well, I started back to school today at a new school and a new class, which is about the essentials needed for ministry.
The essentials include hearing your call and discovering your gifts, values, past experiences while seeking God’s purpose and vision for your life. Then, we will move onto learning how to perform weddings, funerals, worship services, and other duties of a minister along with administrative stuff and issues within a ministry. Sounds like an exciting class and I can’t wait to learn more about the essentials of ministry. After all, I do want to eventually marry people, perform weddings, and other events.
Yet, what has been my most exciting part of this is learning about my past experiences – both the good and the pad. Using a tool on http://www.chazown.com , I created a timeline of my life from the moment of birth to present time. The timeline has included good people who have encouraged me like friends, family, colleagues, and even mentors. Even the bad people are listed like the neighbor who took advantage of me or the ex husband who left me wounded and scarred. There are the good stuff about my life like being actively involved with school, church, work, and friends while also listing bad stuff like divorce, losing my son, and even abuse. Yet, as I did this, I wondered, what did I learn from this timeline?
Well, I learned that I can endure quite a bit and that God has given me the strength to get through the rough patches of life. The good stuff shows that I’ve had supported people along the way like my husband, my in-laws, great friends and church people, and even pets that have cheered me along. Above all, I have had God there with me as I endured the bad and celebrated the good. How did this happen? Through a desire to know and praise Him as He gives me the strength to endure.
After all, Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV) reads:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
In conclusion, what does your past experiences tell you about you? What have you endured and do you see a theme throughout your life’s journeys?