Where Are You Taking Me?

The current phase of my “adventure to salvation” began two summers ago. I remember it quite well. I was, at the time, an adult volunteer for my parish’s youth ministry program. I volunteered to chaperone the youth group’s annual trip to Atlanta for Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Summer Youth Conference. Having spent my freshman year of college at Franciscan, I knew what a life changing event it could be for the teens that went. What I didn’t know is that it ended up being a life changing event for me as well.

While attending the conference and spending much of the weekend in prayer, I got the feeling that God was calling me to get more involved in ministry than I already was. I came out of the weekend with the resolve to start a men’s ministry. I felt that this is what God wanted me to do, and besides, I was working as a financial advisor at the time for a major national firm and this would give me the opportunity to network and pick up a few clients….at least that is what I thought.

After the weekend, I approached the adult faith formation coordinator at my parish and shared with her what I wanted to do. She had a job for me right away! While it wasn’t necessarily what I was looking to do, she got me involved in leading a small group discussion on the Eucharist with other adults. Still, I felt the call to start a men’s ministry and kept praying for the opportunity to do so.

And then my world fell apart. In October of 2007 I lost my job with that major national financial advisory firm. All of my plans to start a men’s ministry were put on hold while I began the very difficult job of finding a new job. I started my search in the financial services industry because of my experience but opportunity after opportunity closed behind me. After about 5 months of searching with no luck at finding anything, I was starting to become desperate. I started applying for anything and everything. I even applied to be a manager at Burger King. They never even contacted me! (I hope it’s because they thought I was over experienced and not unexperienced!) I also saw an opportunity for a Director of Religious Education at a local parish and I applied for it. I didn’t want to do that job, but I need a job, any job! The pastor of that parish called me a few days later and said that he already had a candidate that would fit the DRE position better than I and wondered if I would be interested in Youth Ministry. I hesitated, not because I don’t like working with teens, but because I feared that I would not be able to provide for my family on a youth minister’s salary. But I agreed to an interview anyway, probably at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

A few weeks ago I returned to Atlanta for my second trip to Franciscan University’s Summer Youth Conference, this time with a group of teens from my own youth group. I spent some time reflecting on what had occurred since my last visit. A lot has changed. God was definitely calling me to ministry, just not what I thought. I wanted to start a men’s ministry. God wanted me in youth ministry. I’ve just completed my first year as a youth director for two parishes in Pinellas County, Florida and I can truly say that I love what I do.

What’s the point of this story? God is talking to you. He is telling you what He wants you to do. You don’t need a Steubenville Conference or a retreat to hear it, either. You just need to quiet your heart and listen. He’s talking to you like he spoke to me. Allow God to reveal Himself to you. I knew that I was going to be in ministry in 2007. It took God a full year to reveal His plan to me. It took a lot of hardship as well. I’m not saying that God’s plan for you will entail hardship, although it might. Pray, listen, and wait patiently for God. Endure whatever hardship comes your way in pursuing God’s plan for you. You won’t regret it. I certainly don’t!

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yummmm…Burger King : )

    Very timely. I'm losing my job in the coming weeks. I have found great comfort in Matthew 22:37, John 14:1, Proverbs 3:5-6, and Philippians 4:6-7.

    Please keep me in your prayers.

  2. I will pray for you, Josh. God has a plan for you. Take some time to listen for it.

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