Singer of songs.

Our pastor has been doing a sermon series on baptism, and I have missed most of them because I didn’t go to our church for the entire month of October. I know! How does that happen? I am not sure. It was sickness and out-of-town-ness and out-of-town-guest-ness and just-plain-tiredness. But finally for November, I was able to be there. This week was about how your baptism relates to your calling as a Christian.

I struggle with the idea of calling. I see Mike teaching and I know that he is doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing. He’s good at it and he finds it fulfilling and it is so apparent that all of his gifts and talents and quirks combine in one place to make him a great teacher. But I don’t feel that there is a place in my own life where I see that same thing. Don’t get me wrong – I like my job and it is fulfilling, meaningful work, but I don’t know what it would mean for it to be my calling. Maybe I’m still growing into it. Maybe I’m not the type of person who can be content like Mike can be content. Or maybe there’s another answer that I just don’t know yet.

On Tuesday night, we went with some friends to Natty Greene’s to attend a discussion of “The Gospel According to Johnny Cash.” They played several of his songs, including “Singer of Songs.” I was particularly struck by Johnny Cash’s proclamation of his own calling:

I can help proclaim the glory of this mighty king of kings.
Yes, I can do it with the songs I sing.
I’m not a great man. I don’t claim to be.
But when I meet my Maker and He questions me,
I won’t hang my head. I will stand proud and strong
and say, “I was a singer. Lord, I was a singer.
Yes, I was a singer of songs.”

I think proclaiming the message of God is a lot more than being a preacher. My church agrees, and every week you see that message in the bulletin: “Every member a minister.” I feel confident that Mike does it every day at school with the ways that he loves his students and challenges them to do their best. My attempt to speak truth to at least one student every day is part of that message, too, and that is part of my job and part of my interaction with students that makes me feel alive. I just wonder if there’s something I’m missing, because I don’t think I have an answer to those questions like Johnny Cash did. “I am a purveyor of information skills and self-esteem,” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

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