Do you ever wonder how your life’s journey brought you to your current job or profession? Probably, it was not an accident. More than likely, that is where God placed you.
Frequently people ask me what I do for a living. My answer, “I am a funeral director.”
Often this starts with the usual, “I guess you’re the last to let them down, eh?” or any of a myriad of jokes related to my profession.
What most folks don’t know, however, is how close I came several years ago to no longer being a funeral director and why I changed my mind.
I had reached the point that I was sick and tired of burying children, husbands, wives, soldiers, mothers and fathers; of not being able to visit friends who were ill or hospitalized for fear of offending someone because of my profession; of not being able to help my fellow deacons or our church staff on visitations—again for fear of offending someone.
I was tired of being around hurting and grieving people. I basically was just tired of anything and everything to do with being a funeral director.
Then, one day, while reading my daily devotional, God placed in front of me 1 Peter 4: 10-11: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”
Wow! It was as if I could audibly hear God saying “Guess what, it’s not about you!”
In that moment, I realized that I am a funeral director because that is what God had intended for me all along. I am gifted with the ability to meet people with kindness, compassion and understanding during possibly the absolute worst day of their lives. Those gifts allow me to counsel and help people when most of the time they have no clue what they want to do, and even if they do, how they are to achieve it.
My being “happy” doing what I do isn’t important. Doing what makes Him happy is. Do I always enjoy my profession? No. Most times I still don’t enjoy what I do, but I wouldn’t have anyone else take my place because it is what God has called me to do.
So, what about you? Are you a senior pastor, struggling with the burdens of shepherding a mega church and all of the pressures that come with that position? Ask yourself, “Am I making a difference in the lives of my congregation?”
Are you a pastor of a small church plant, where you must be senior pastor, counselor, bookkeeper and janitor all rolled into one? Are you impacting the lives of your flock, helping to grow God’s Kingdom?
Maybe you are a physician, tired of seeing sick and hurting people. Yet you are giving them some relief from their pain and suffering; or an educator, fed up of students that just don’t seem to care, or want to learn. But, what about that one student who does want to learn? That one may be our next president, or a pastor, or one of God’s missionaries.
Honestly ask yourself, are you using your gifts in doing what God has called you to do, even if it may not necessarily be what you want to do. Then use them to the absolute best of your ability, and may God be praised in your doing so. Peter did not say “If you have received a gift,” he said, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.” Remember, it’s all about Him, not about you.
Me? I’m a funeral director. That’s what God made me.
Jack Roland is a member of First Baptist Church-Ocala and is currently serving as first vice-president of the Florida Baptist State Convention.
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