Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BUSY (08/15/19)
- TITLE: My Calling
By Linda Lawrence
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My husband, Carl, immediately jumped into his responsibilities as program director for Far East Broadcasting Company. Training international staff in preparing programs to be broadcast throughout Asia would keep him fully occupied.
I didn’t jump in, but purposely held back, surveyed my surroundings. How to make a home for our family in our two-story converted Quonset hut? Almost immediately there was a knock at the door. “Mum, you need housegirl?”
No, I did not. As a teenager I had a job cleaning house for a woman recovering from surgery. Her daughter, a classmate of mine introduced me to her friends as the maid. I remembered feeling disdain for her snobbishness. So, I imagined a housegirl would disdain me, assuming I felt superior—or she might think me lazy or incompetent. Besides, preparing a home for my husband and my children is my calling, my identity. Who would I be if someone else was caring for my home? No, I did not want a housegirl. However, every other compound household had a housegirl or two, probably because so many Filipino girls were seeking and needing a live-in job.
Taking care of my children, two and five years old, being on call for my husband’s requests as he popped in and out of the house during the day, laundry, shopping for food (no supermarket), washing all produce in bleach water, polishing concrete floors, was a full-time job. Probably having a housegirl wouldn’t have been such a bad idea, but I cringed at the thought of being observed all day, of supervising anyone, and of having someone else do my work.
The next knock at the door began a series of visits from other missionary wives presenting opportunities to take on a multitude of jobs—editing taped programs, cataloging records, creating a library for the programmers, providing meals to visitors, or serving as a hostess in the guest house. I was overwhelmed with all the appeals.
I didn’t want to take on jobs just to be busy. What do YOU want me to do, Lord? When should I say yes, and can I ever say no? So many needs, so many choices. What is MY assignment? My role in the larger picture?
Over the next few days particular scriptures came to mind that defined my five personal life assignments. If what I was asked to do worked towards one of those goals, I said yes. If not, I felt free to say no.
These are the assignments set for me when I was twenty-five-years old.
1. Learn to know God.
2. Study God’s Word and pour it into other’s lives.
3. Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
4. Be Carl’s ‘helpmeet’.
5. Give God pleasure.
Fast forward a few years. I was teaching a Bible study, encouraging wives of international businessmen to take advantage of the free time on their hands—because they each had housegirls. Time to dig into God’s Word needed to be treasured as a valuable opportunity before house chores called once again.
Twenty-five years later, driving a moving van from California to Oregon on another long hot trip, I sighed with relief when we finally arrived at our new home, our new life. Carl was retiring. Being Carl’s ‘helpmeet’ in this new stage of life involved encouraging each other to dig into His Word, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God. The assignment had not changed.
These days, fifty years from landing in Manila, when I am not busy I wonder if I am lazy. Carl was called Home, so my days of meeting his needs are over.
I look forward to going Home, to fully enjoying a new eternal life. In the meantime I try to keep a balance between living in Sabbath rest, enjoying the finished works of God, and in staying occupied in God’s Word. It’s a full-time job participating in His ongoing work in my life, encouraging myself and others in the knowledge of God’s love and justice and mercy.
I hope this gives God pleasure.
Psalm 46; Philippians 3; Matthew 28:20; Micah 6:8; Genesis 2:18; Revelation 4:11
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