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We all have fears in our lives, whether we admit that we have fears or not. It may be a fear of spiders. Those pesky things who will stand boldly like Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings as it murmurs, “You shall not pass!” For others, you may simply have a fear of loneliness and / or rejection. For me, well…

For someone who has been technically out of work for over 9 months (legally only 2 weeks), I remain a relatively sane person. I know how to control my emotions, which in recent months has even surprised myself, especially when I should have got involved in some heated arguments, but I chose to let God deal with those situations. I have shared concerns of my stagnated future with trustworthy Christian friends, and curiously the tables have turned where they have listened. It’s usually me who listens to others. My parents are cautious in ways. I guess it’s the fear that I could suddenly lose the plot, if I take my eyes and focus away from the LORD, but they know I am stubbornly strong in my personal faith in the LORD.

Upon applying to secular work (I have reached double figures), I presently have an old-hat skillset. Allow me to break this down…

QWERTY Career

I read the latest in trends across 4 areas in the world of all things computery including: graphic design, web development, photography and underlying technologies of tomorrow’s world. I still even read about the latest in the games industry, and it’s a relief in ways to learn that I haven’t missed anything since my first undergraduate degree course from my student days at Dundee.

Despite keeping in touch with all things digital on a daily basis, I do not see it as my true passion in my heart. I am even experimenting and forcing a mindset to see through it as a fake passion, perhaps in the way of securing a job in the meantime, but also to seek a godly confirmation if a short-term job is what I should be pursuing. However, the lack of passion is showing through when I write cover letters to express an interest in secular work across the creative design industry. It can be quite uninspiring to sit (or stand) at a computer desk and glue your eyeballs to a monitor all day.

A B C… It’s easy as 1 2 3

The same goes for teaching English overseas. I still have to be reminded daily that the opportunity to teach English in South Korea was God’s perfect timing and deliverance. Everything worked out perfectly! Why I keep applying for ESL opportunities in Hong Kong, when I know the working culture and employment conditions are harsh – I have no idea! Perhaps an act of human desperation for employment, or my ignorance of God perhaps – or both!

As of late, I have now stopped looking to Hong Kong for work. One of my impulses was a fear of Scotland going independent, which is something I personally don’t agree with. And yet, I don’t trust any political party. I will still uphold my duty to vote. I am just one to believe in God’s blessing for us as a united kingdom (play of words not intended).

Nonetheless, teaching English to kids of ridiculously wealthy parents is not exactly my true passion in my heart. As much as I enjoy the role of teaching and inspiring the younger generation in a nurturing environment to see them excel in their academic studies, my calling is not teaching English overseas. Teaching – yes! Teaching English – no!

Underlying Passion

So far, I have expressed two core areas of potential work, where I find such blandness in my heart. Ultimately, they are not my true passions in my heart. Coincidently, I neither have the utmost academic credentials or an overflowing digital portfolio to secure such lucrative contracts. It is a bit of a predicament, and yet, I have utmost peace in the LORD despite my given situation that is beyond my control.

The only realistic thing that is going on in my life is this never-ending pursuit and ever-growing desire to serve the LORD in a vocational role. It’s not exactly a tag line people would rush out to write as your profile statement on your CV, but it is a underlying true passion in my heart.

Why? Life is ridiculously short, and I feel brokenhearted for the lost and the poor in Spirit of this world, and the crazy thing is that I am willing to let go of my selfish fleshy desires / ambitions and exchange them to serving the lost and the poor in Spirit – and lead them to Christ, and point them to God’s absolute promises of Scripture, and help those who are already walking as God’s elect to journey with them in genuine Christian fellowship.

The spark ignited back in 2005 when I re-assured my faith in the LORD, and I am slowly seeing the flame consume a bush. Me being me, and I need to seek out godly confirmation(s) as to recognise that it is indeed of the LORD, and not my own imagination! I don’t think its wise to force yourself and make believe that God is leading you to a misleading path.

I won’t divulge too much on the Ooohs and Aaahhs of this particular vocation. And no doubt, one of the reasons that I am not in pastoral ministry (as yet) is my inability to butter up people and endorse myself to a set denomination or localised institution. Hence, I come across as unexcited in the outward department. I never use emotion or dramatise myself to achieve something, when seeking out God’s call for me. I just be myself, and I strive for humility.

In response to my last reflection, I strive to work on areas of godly character, as opposed to being someone else. It’s the fear of God that makes this journey a bit slow (at least for me) to see through if this is where the LORD truly wants me to serve.

For me, well… I fear the LORD that He is indeed calling me to pastoral ministry, that I am not sure if He wants me to butter up to select people, simply to shepherd a flock… or that this time of waiting and hardship is to shape me to be a Christ-centred Bible-believing leader that God is calling me to be and serve – in whatever capacity that may be!

~Richard