What Is My Calling?

The young man has just graduated from Medical School.   His father’s friend, an ophthalmologist asked to see him.   To the young man the Ophthalmologist said, “Go into ophthalmology; that is where the money is.”

The father was sickened. For, he believed that Medicine is a profession, not a business.   Its goal should be the healing of the ills of mankind.  In our system, the money should take care of itself for physicians.  The young doctor should be focused on his/her patient; and on the proper diagnosis, and the most effective likely cure.

The same goes for Ministers and Attorneys (the others in the triad of learned professions.)

There is nothing wrong with making money.  Business, industry, banking and brokerage are among many honorable and proper ways to make money.   Law degrees are good assets for business or industry.

Rev John Wesley, founder of Methodism, said “a Christian should make all the money he can, save all the money he can, and give all the money he can to the work of the Lord.”    AMEN!   I hope YOU will follow that advice.   But, if your calling is to a service profession:  ministry, medicine, law, teaching, etc.  I hope you will be well paid, but PLEASE        do not corrupt your focus which ought to be on service, by focusing on making money.

Muddying the water are those who have preparation for law or other profession who find their true calling to be in business….or at the other end in painting, composing or sculpting.

Our personal challenge is to ask What is MY calling? and to answer that question truly, honorably and to the best of our abilities.

It is my prayer that in this congregation are those caring souls who cure others’ knowledge deficiencies through teaching;  others who cure society’s ills through legislating or adjudicating; others who build great businesses that generate good products or services for others and enrich themselves; some who heal sick bodies and minds;  others who discover nature’s secrets or who invent tools of every kind; others who are salesmen, or industrial workers whose daily output enriches our society.

I hope that YOU have found—or will find—God’s calling for you; and that you will do the very best that is within you, and while doing that you will grow and refine your soul into someone who is truly saintly.   And, it is my hope that we will all respect, honor and value one another, and make our spiritual community—Pilgrim Chapel– holy and beautiful!

Changing Seasons

The changing seasons are a strong reminder of the order of the earth, and the limits of mortality. The trees have started changing in their autumn finery, before fading into a dull brown and falling.   The autumn winds and rain will tear away those few leaves that cling so tightly to their branches. The symbol of death will be seen  in the bare and dormant trees.

And, in a half year will come the vernal equinox.  Precursors of Spring—the early blooming flowers will fight through the snow (if there is any), and grab our attention proclaiming,  “Life is here!   See!”   Soon Robins will return with other birds.   Flowers will proliferate in a riot of color, Christians will celebrate the Resurrection which emphasizes the burst of Divine Love upon the human scene.

In between will come the long dormancy of winter—with its rain, cold, and snow;  which will give us all an excuse to complain or to flee with the other “snow birds” to gentler climates—or both.

How good it is!    What a wonder is creation.   How fabulous is life in its millions of manifestations.   How rich are our lives as we move from infancy through childhood to young adulthood, parenthood, middle life, and finally into that final glide path where at any day to another dimension.

Best of all is the spiritual qualities we can now develop: calm, peace, relinquishment of anger, gossip, faultfinding and narrow selfishness.   How sweet it is to see the bigger picture and find our way to employ our words, our energy, our money and our influence to helping others, to working for justice, to touching others in such a way that it is healing for them and for us.

In the 19th century Methodist Circuit riders and other very ardent and committed clergy went from place to place preaching the Gospel.  From that time came easy-to-sing, catchy songs and hymns that—for some of us–are imbedded in our very being.  One of them is:    Living for Jesus, a life that is true, striving to please Him in all that I do; Yielding allegiance glad-hearted and free.   This is the pathway of blessing for me. O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee, for Thou in Thy atonement, didst give thyself for me.  I own no other master; my heart shall be thy throne  My life I give henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone

Finding Authenticity II

237 years ago, on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress of what was to become the United States of America, adopted the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.  226 years ago, on the 17th of September 1787 our Constitution was adopeted.

The United States is now the longest running democratic republic in the history of mankind.   When after the Constitution Convention Ben Franklin was asked by a woman “what kind of government have you given us?”

“A repuiblic, Madam, if you can keep it.”   The priceof liberty is eternal vigilance.

George Washington charged us to “beware of entangling a

lliances.”   We have not listened.   President Eisenhower warned us of the “Military-industrial complex.”   That, too has been ignored.    So, our government orders airplanes and tanks the services do NOT want….BECAUSE there is a plant in some Representative’s district that employs many people.   To lose it would cause un-employment; which likely would cause him to lose his seat.

There is a battle going on in the government over the amount of taxes and where revenues should be spent.

It is my belief that we should do as much as we can for ourselves, but that as a great national family, our taxes should fund good roads, good schools, nice parks, great universities, a safety net for the poor and infirm, a mighty military, safety inspectors for our food and drugs.   And, it is my belief that taxes should be progressive and without loopholes for some parties to escape paying their fair share.

No doubt, many see things differently than I do.   I hope all our citizens will read the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE and the Constitution every year; that we should participate in government by voting and writing letters.

Traditionally, the press has been the watchdog of government, exposing crimes and shenanigans.   As so many of our greatest newspapers have been taken over by powerful interests who may want to government to be corrupt in their favor, it appears that our newspapers are losing the heft and clout they once had.   If so, we are all the losers.  We should always be prepared to cry out for justice for ALL people, and disinterested fair play from our governments.