We slowly drove past the little white country church with the red door, yep there it was, then kept driving. Pulling into the parking lot of the restaurant down the street I let out a heavy breath. I had to work up the nerve to go back. Turning the car around we pulled into the gravel parking lot of the church and sat silently for a few minutes before working up the nerve to get out. But here we were. Joy, Kaitlin, and I walked through the door to be met with stares and smiles. They had just been praying that the Lord would provide a pastor. Their current pastor was going to need surgery soon and wouldn’t be able to continue his duties.
We attended the church for about 6 months when I got the call. I remember vividly it was January 2007. We were walking the snowy roads of Gatlinburg when my phone rang. One of the elders in the church wanted to know if I could preach the upcoming Sunday. Nervously I said yes. But the reality was, no wasn’t an option. We knew this was God’s call on my life. We knew when we made that first drive to the church they were going to need a pastor. Yet until that time it was all potential. Now it was going to be a reality. It was time to get in the game.
Potential and calling are one thing, but they’re nothing if they’re never put into practice. To put it another way it means nothing if we talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. It is crucial for the words to become flesh. So the real logical conclusion is there must be a practical, real life application of what we have learned and heard from God. There must be willing acceptance of what He is calling us to do. Anything less is disobedience.
This is really true in any area of life. Talking about it is one thing but it is totally irrelevant if we never actually do it. Additionally, something never done may lead to a lifetime of regret because of missed opportunity. That tentative walk through the red door has led to 14 years of ministry that I do not regret. (Most of the time) Don’t miss opportunities placed before you. Embracing opportunities, even if it is done with reluctance.