You never know where you will find your calling
Published: Thursday, October 16th, 2003
There was a time in my life when I thought I would be a junior high schoolteacher forever — or at least until I retired. Yet, after seven years of junior high school days filled with spit wads, students sent to the office with disciplinary notes, early morning pep rallies and hall duty, I quit. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the kids — I was clever on the creative side and very deficient on the disciplinary side. So after a few years of much frustration, I realized I was not suitable for the junior high classroom and retired. Yet after about a week of retirement, I found myself wondering what I was going to do. Some might call it a mid-life crisis. I suppose some speculated that “Judy just needed to find herself and discover who she was.” My kids had the hardest time adjusting to me not working. Even though I was working hard around the house doing things I had never had time to do, they often questioned me: “Mom, when are you going to get a real job again?” That was sort of bewilderment to me as well. I really needed to work. When I quit my job as a junior high school teacher, some thought it unwise. After all, as people would say, “A job that gets out every day at 3:15 and off all summer?” Well, there is a little more to teaching school than that and I knew that I was not cut out for that kind of work. So after many days of waiting and not working outside the home, I applied to teach a part-time class at the college. I will never forget the night I taught my first class. The moment I slipped into that classroom, met my students and began to teach, I knew I had found my calling. Teaching adults was wonderful. I found out I didn’t have to call their mothers. There was no principal to take them to, but they never had to go to the principal. They didn’t need a hall pass in the halls, either. Robert Frost wrote about two roads that diverged in a wood and he took the one less traveled. Looking back when he wrote this, he noted that taking that road had made all the difference in his life. God called out Abraham and he went. The Bible said he went even though he did not know where he was going. Abraham had to leave his country, his familiar surroundings, his kinfolk, and his father’s house. He had to give up so much to respond in faith to God’s calling for his life (Genesis 12:1-4). Abraham’s demonstration of faith is what made the great difference at the end of his life. If we knew exactly what lies ahead in life and what is involved, our obedience would not be born of faith. And faith is the only way that we really get to know God and know the place of his power in our lives and the wonderful things that he can do. I am certainly not putting myself alongside Abraham. I am not even identifying with Robert Frost. Yet, I do know this: I was still a little apprehensive when I resigned because I did not know what was ahead. But I knew for some reason things were just not right and I had to make a change. I look back now and know that God was using that uneasiness and that unsettling deep within me to look ahead, even without knowing the future. In no way does life always work out as we planned. But faith in God’s plan for our lives is the light that leads us and then our life’s path will be made clear and plain. Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College.
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