Shepherd Me, O Christ – Beyond My Wants

When one is in transition, yesterday’s wants quickly become today’s needs. On a breezy hillside in Judea peopled with eager listeners, an itinerant rabbi recited a prayer for His followers. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Before the eyes of the Hebrews gathered on this mount, they saw their ancestors wandering in a deserted and barren place, craving the fine bread baked in slavery. Through the intercession of Father Moses, bread appeared outside the tents. Although plentiful and satisfying, it was truly daily bread. The following day any hoarded in mistrust was green with mold. Scholars theorize that this bread, the blessing for Jacob’s children, was the offal of a certain insect. The Father can use the most unlikely resources to provide for His precious ones.

The time of ministry transition can become a time of constant flux and uncertainty. Housing, food, electricity, heat, water, insurances, car expenses once budgeted and paid for become burdens in a time of questionable cash flow. The faithful servant feels like a begging bowl lackey, seeking any opportunity to sell one’s services. The Father who offers bread appears to be doling out those stones.

In times of economic distress, trusting in a God of the lilies and insect dung is counter-intuitive. To endanger the well-being of 99 was not worth the life of one. How ironic that this parable has been labeled the story of the “good” shepherd. Just as it was very difficult for the shepherds in the crowd to take seriously any tale where a working man of the fields would leave 99 sheep to search for a stray. In the sinkhole of need how foolish it is to pray for daily bread.

CS Lewis wrote that prayer does not change God, it changes the one who prays. When one attunes oneself to the daily needs, one starts searching for the Divine response. The opportunities hidden in the briars become visible. Talents forgotten come to the forefront of thought. The spark of creativity jostles and mixes with resources and opportunities in the protected hands of a good God .

Look at your talents, newly cultivated and those not recently used. There are opportunities out there. Be a hammerhead shark, not looking directly in front but scanning to the side. Writing, proofreading, voice-over work, becoming a rehearsal pianist, teaching photography at the local community college, web design, producing retreats for assisted living centers or skilled nursing facilities, writing sermons as a freelancer, doing work in another denomination or ministry. Think of a need and how you can fill it. First, ask the Spirit to let you see the possibilities. Don’t shrink back from the outlandish at first. Just let the list grow. Look at the cluster of activities. Is there a pattern that emerges? Is there a task which calls to you? Use internet searches to find employment opportunities in those areas. The bread you seek is there. Who would ever have thought that it may come in the form so unbreadlike?

Search Engine Keywords
Search for the following phrases to see opportunities
Remember, do not pay to receive openings or information about openings.

freelance writing jobs
CPE residency programs stipend
church jobs
ministry jobs
government jobs
Craig’s list
teacher openings [nearest large town]
retirement living [nearest large town]

Any item from your brainstorming

This entry was posted in clergy in transition, leaving active ministry, new ministry, secular job, tentmaking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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