A congregation member once asked to meet with me over coffee. She was cordial and seemed to be interested in the ministry that I was doing. I shared how I was originally on the pre-law track in college and thought that I would earn a law degree for Kingdom purposes. However, the Lord led me another way, which I gladly embraced.
She smiled through the conversation politely and at the end said, “You would have been a good lawyer,” and left it at that.
It was a packed statement. In the context of our conversation, she was basically saying that she was glad to see that I was content with my life, but she could not deny the lost “potential” of what my life could have looked like with a law degree, power, and money.
I run into these sort of conversations here and there. Ministry was not my last resort. It was not a choice made because nothing else worked out in my life. It was my first choice, my only choice. And, I made it at the prime of my life.
I understand why my choices confuse some. If being an influential Christian was the goal, then I could have chosen a field where women were not constantly questioned. If stability was the goal, then I would have gone down the route where contracts were provided and benefits were guaranteed. If happiness was the goal, then, perhaps, I would have chosen a career where being rejected and misunderstood wasn’t a constant probability.
But, I don’t think the goal of Christianity is any of these things, contrary to what some may believe.
Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
When God offered His hand of love and commitment to me, it was through laying down His very own life. He gave me Himself. He did not send a proxy. He did not send a message or a gift. He sent Himself, and that was how He proposed.
Perhaps, I felt that the best way to accept His proposal was by offering myself in return.
There was a time when Jesus had more than 12 disciples. The others left because the teaching was too difficult, the path too absurd. When Jesus turned to Peter and asked, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67-68). In this moment, Peter did not know that he was going to become the great Apostle Peter. He did not know that his writings would be read by the Body of Christ for centuries to come. He did not know that the story of his martyrdom would be retold and remembered by millions. There was no career plan, education track, or financial map to follow.
You see, all Peter had was an idea of who Jesus was. And because of his faith in Him, he did not care about what he did by Jesus’ side… as long as he was by Jesus’ side.
What to become and how to gain are, perhaps, the two most stressful points of tension for Christians these days. However, anyone entering into any sort of relationship with goals to become influential, stable, or even happy, will always come out the other end broken and disillusioned.
Jesus did not die on the cross so that you can be a better person, nor did He do it so that you can do big things with your life. Rather, the cross was a proposal to have you as His own for the rest of eternity. Not just a well-behaved You or an impressive You — just You.
My choice to enter into the ministry was not because it was the only way to live for Jesus. It was just my best way. I knew that if I wasn’t concerned about the secondary things, then this was my absolute best way.
And every day, I have peace in knowing that I am my best gift to my bridegroom.