TITLE: My Calling--as done by a literal phone call
By Ruth Neilson
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Sometimes I wish I were completely normal. You know, get the calling of your life through a still small voice in the middle of your prayer time. Then happily go off and fulfill part your call with little to know thought of what you were sacrificing at that moment. They don’t know--couldn’t know really.
As a college student, most of the time, it is a general rule that most of the population on campus is sleep deprived. That’s no big deal in reality. For that matter, being asked to pray for special requests is nothing out of the ordinary either. You see I attend a Christian campus, where prayer starts off most every class, and the stories of Samuel or Isaiah receiving his call and answering it with: “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10 NAS) or, “Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 b NAS) are favorites to be preached in our chapel services. Especially whenever the speaker is preaching on our callings... now...where was I?
Oh, right! Being normal...I wish! My calling always manages to happen in the early morning hours via phone call. Seriously! My calling is a literal phone call from a friend who needs her back covered after experiences when the enemy A.K.A the village idiots attack her at night. How many times did I use to joke about wanting my calling from God to happen over the phone? So that maybe, I’d know it was He. How ironic that this is happening to me now.
Now, in reality, I don’t mind this. It works—in its own weird way. I have her back and then she has mine, especially when I get into one of my own funks. Now, every time the phone rings at some unknown, unspeakable hour, I face the same choice. Do I answer the phone and loose precious sleep thus obeying the Bible—or do I ignore the shrill ringing piercing my sleep fumbled mind. Those questions are constantly in my mind, even as I sleep. I wake up in the mornings, sometimes wondering if I had ignored the phone. Effectively, ignoring my calling and going on and ignoring the command in the Bible-- “Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (NAS)--is this what Paul was meaning?
At this moment in my life, I don’t doubt it. Despite being dumped further into sleep depravity, there is always a sense that there is a reason that I am the lucky one on the other end because that means that my friend trusts me...which means in a way, God trusts me with her friendship. So, if God trusts me with that, then that literally means, He is asking me to be obedient in the fact that I’m carrying my sister whenever she needs me. I am being obedient.
I can always tell when it happened. The conversations always start the same way.
My very groggy voice, asking, “Hello?”
This is always followed by her soft, determined, yet scared voice going, “Hey, it happened.”
By this point, my brain has stopped going, ‘I’m gonna hurt someone.’ and has changed into, ‘its battle time.’ From there, the conversation varies as she tells me what happened, whether it was a freaky dream or a very real life type of dream. Next, we pray and then talk for a while or read scriptures until she has calmed back down. Then and only then do we think about going back to bed.
This is my calling. This is my sacrifice--my gift. I don’t say this to brag. This is just my story one of the few things that I can do for my friends. I have been told that I have a good shoulder to cry on. How can I, as a Christian deny the calling of obedience just because it is not convenient in the times that she needs me? What am I suppose to do, refuse to answer the phone and leave my friend alone being attacked. I refuse to. I understand too much of the thought process of ‘no one gets left behind’. If she’s being attacked, that’s part of my family that is being attacked and I do not deal with that well.
So, this is my calling, a gift and a cursing—take your pick. I guess I was right in the fact that God sometimes does use the phone to announce His plan. Now, if only it didn’t happen in the early hours of the morning, I’d be perfectly comfortable. But then again, who is to say that the Christian life is supposed to be comfortable. So, I guess, once again, I don’t have a single argument against this.
Maybe I am normal...I can dream right?
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