The call you hear may not be your own

With apologies to Flannery O’Connor

So it’s almost 9pm on Sunday. If today was Sabbath I batted about 65%, I just tried to store a folding chair in a table-leaf box, and since I didn’t write BEFORE Sabbath (the preferred approach) my writing remains to be done before I can crash go to bed. 

Rather than thinking something up, I’ll tell you a story that completed itself today. That’ll be simpler. Maybe. 

The beginning of this story is in June. Well, it’s before that, but the tell-able part starts in June. On the last day of my Ruth class, I happened to be partnered with a woman who’s an unfurling leader in our congregation’s Mothers Of PreSchoolers group. I asked her what she thought about my facilitating a monthly low-key evening study, though not a MOPS-sponsored thing. Reader, she liked it—moreover, she expanded on it: what about also sharing the lessons with her and the leadership team in their daytime meetings? And what would I think about being a mentor-mom with the day group?

What would I think? I would think: hm. My good friend L, very active in MOPS, hasn’t mentioned it to me. Wonder why? She knows me pretty well, so… . Hm.

I would, in classic girl-fashion, check in with a mutual friend who’s embedded in our congregation’s leadership. And say, hey, I trust you to be blunt where L might still be nice to me <mischievous grin here>: what gives?

And Mutual Friend would say, OH! And laugh. And say, I bet it’s because the head office (Kimbol-words!) encouraged us to find more connectors. And I would say, that’s fair, because I’m a Maven poster child, no question. 

So now there’s three of us praying about this. And soon four, because L gets folded in (again in classic girl-fashion). With her usual exuberance she greets me with, “Hey! I hear you’re going to be a mentor-mom!”

Now, I have been praying about this. And rolling it around my head. And it fits. As B points out, mentoring is something I do all the time, even when nobody asks.

And yet… .
And yet the “yes” doesn’t come to my lips. I hedge. L says she’ll send me the position information, so I can read up on the details. I’ll be out of town for the annual team-building time, we realize, but that can be worked around, right?

I go to Glen Workshop. I come home. I get back to the packet in my email. 

I read the packet, and it says precisely what I expect. And now I’m confused, God. It all fits, but I have no ‘yes.’ I merely don’t have a ‘no.’ And I worry that, having wholeheartedly said yes to some new things for fall, I don’t have a clear understanding of whether I’ll have the good energy to include this new thing too. Though I trust that God provides what’s needed if it is God’s call…

So I email back a qualified, “I guess??” Because what if this is God’s prompting, and I’m supposed to be stretching this far?

   

Today I get a phone call from L. We catch up on each other’s summers, and we settle down to business. This mentor-business.

She’s tiptoeing, trying to be tactful… and I want to laugh. Because she’s turning down my “I guess,” giving me the answer my relief tells me I was hoping for. 

But it gets funnier! (It usually does, with L.) 

She tells me, y’know, I hadn’t asked you because I know you’re too busy. I know all the things you’re in the middle of. (She does.) So it had never occurred to me that you might say yes! And that started me thinking: who else haven’t I asked because I’ve already decided they wouldn’t be able or willing to serve? So I asked <a friend>, who used to be a participant, and she’s excited to give back. And I asked <a mutual close friend>, who had her previous Thursday commitment end the week before I called, and she’s delighted to be a part. And that makes six, one mentor for each table, which fills us up for fall.

Will you keep a pin in it? she asks. Because maybe another time will be the right time.

But evidently your calling this time was to turn on a light in my head… which it did. So that was good!

   

I am keeping a pin in it. Because who knows what the future will hold for a Christ-follower who asks, God, what is your purpose for me? So what if today’s answer is: thank you, daughter, for being game-? At least I can see I’ve got good game.

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