A Willingness to Serve

Somewhere along my spiritual journey I was told that God is more interested in our faithfulness than our success. I was told that we are called to be faithful, not successful. I found that liberating at the time and still do. Those who grew up in environments where achievement and success mattered greatly, and failure was associated with embarrassment and shame, may also find this liberating. For God, it is not whether you succeed or fail in your calling or ministry, and it is not results or awards that count, but it is whether you answer the call. The Bible gives us a multitude of examples of this including just these few.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
— Isaiah 6:8
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
— Luke 1:38
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
— Luke 22:42

It is our faithfulness, our “yes” to a call to serve that matters to God. There are a number of reasons why that “yes” may lead to what we see as a successful ministry or outcome, but there are probably just as many reasons for why we do not see successes. And the truth may be that most of either outcome is beyond our individual control. We do pray after all, “your Kingdom come, your will be done” as we admit that God’s will and Kingdom are “mysterium tremendum et fascinans” (a terrible mystery).

Your vestry nominating committee has been busy talking with folks about their willingness to serve on the Good Shepherd vestry. I understand that there are many legitimate reasons why someone would not be able to serve at this time, but for others I want them to know that their “yes” it is not about success or failure to be elected but about their faithfulness in answering the call to serve. If you are willing to serve, please let me or a member of the vestry nominating committee know.

May God’s holiness be yours,

Fr. Bill+