Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Golden Calf

Earlier today I had a bit of free time, so I pulled out my guitar and decided to go through my file of old worship music. I didn't really plan for it to be a worship session, but, in an impromptu way, it became one.

This evening, as I was spending time talking with God, I thanked Him for that opportunity, commenting that it had been a while since I'd done that and that it was a blessing in surprise. As I was praying, I was praying over a missions trip application I'd sent in (somewhat rashly, perhaps), asking for clarity on whether or not that's what God wanted me to be doing and what my initial, base motivation for applying was. From there we sidetracked onto my desire and plans for the future.

For those of you who might not be aware, (basically anyone whom I haven't met in person and spoken with for any length of time) I wish to serve as a missionary doctor in Kyrgyzstan. It started in grade 9 as simply a call to serve as a missionary there, but, as I pursued studies in biology and became enamoured with medicine, that call was gradually refined to medical missions. I fought that call for a year as a college freshman, denying the call to serve as a missionary and being set on working in the US as your everyday paediatrician, but God roped me back in line.

Returning to tonight's discussion with God, a short while after praying over the missions trip application, giving it over to Him to work according to His will and desires, and thanking Him for the blessing of that smaller worship time God asked me a small question:

"What if I sent you to Kyrgyzstan as James?" 

That question stopped me dead in my tracks. My priorities had become skewed. Over the last year or so, everything has become med school this, GPA that, MCAT the other thing, etc. I had become so focused on the doctor/medical missionary title aspect that I had, to quote the Newsboys, "lost the plot." I had, in a way, made an idol out of my calling. I had taken my calling, morphed it into an object of my desire. and made it about me. When people asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I paraded this calling that I wanted to do. It was my wish and desire and I began to leave God out of it except to pray and ask that He make it happen.

I sat for a minute, pondering this question, coming to this realization and how I had fallen, how I had lost sight of the goal. I shifted, slowly, imperceptibly, from desiring to serve God with my passions and skills to wanting to fulfill my goal and plan to honour God.

You might say, "But that's not a bad thing, you're wanting to honour God."

Look at the way it's worded. What is my motivation? What is secondary? Is it God or me?

All you who have eyes to see these words, read! Examine your life, your calling, your goals. See my failure and learn from it. Pray over it. Pray that you would remain in or return to your first love and examine yourself. Don't doubt or doublethink, just examine. Don't start jumping at shadows of selfish desire. Don't begin glossing over your errors and looking the other way. Be reasonable. Seek the wisdom and discernment of God.

"Seek First the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:33