It was still dark on a cold January morning when I backed the car out of the driveway a little before 6:00 am. A little later I eased onto I-44 headed west towards Tulsa, Oklahoma a two hour drive away. Once there I had a full day and evening of classes before climbing back into my car for the two hour drive east, hopefully arriving home before midnight.

Lots of questions rolled through my mind. What would graduate school be like? What would being back in the classroom after 20+ years be like? Could I keep up with all the lectures, reading, paper writing and projects. Could I keep up with my obligations of family, a day job, and being a rookie weekend pastor of a small congregation? I'd done the math, crunched the time numbers, but it didn't really make sense.

It was my first day of seminary and I was really nervous! But I was also excited!

A few years earlier I had begun to sense God nudging me to do something different with my life. That “something” eventually became a call into formal ministry in the United Methodist Church. After lots of prayer and conversation with my wife, I decided I should say “yes” to this call. And that decision set in motion a process that had brought me to this January morning headed west to Tulsa.

But was this really the right thing to do?

I tuned the radio to the local Christian radio station. Somewhere in the midst of the music and stark beauty of the eastern Oklahoma landscape becoming visible in the sunrise, I got a very powerful sense of the presence of God. In those holy moments few, if any, of my questions were answered. In spite of that, I was confident I was headed in the right direction!

It may or may not be a life changing call into formal ministry in the church, but God calls each of us to obedience with a purpose. It’s in the midst of that obedience that we find confidence in God’s presence and help! Click here to listen to more (March 28 sermon).

May you and I always be able to say, “Where you lead me today, God, I will follow.”

Your partner on the journey,

Pastor Steve