“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…” (Eph. 4:1).
I tenderly stacked the soft clay “blessing bowls” the morning campers had made in the crafts room at foster kid camp. I loaded them in the car, then headed home to let the dogs out, unpack the kiln, load more pots, and return to camp by afternoon craft time. On the way, I stopped for a burger.
That’s when I saw her.
A young woman sat on a rock, weeping. Her boyfriend hadn’t arrived to take her to her second job. She said she lived only 5-10 minutes away. Here was a soul crying out in front of me–there was my responsibility to campers. I prayed for God’s calling: Whatsoever you do for the least of these... Whatsoever.
She climbed into my car.
Her parents loved her but had kicked her out of the house because of her boyfriend. She said, “I wanted to be a grown-up, and now I have to work.”
In the 25-minute ride, we covered a lot of ground.
I drove and drove. She apologized. I said, “God runs my day and He chose to place you in it.”
I told her she is important to the One who created her. She sounded uncertain about her recent decisions. I encouraged her to “…speak the truth in love…” (Eph. 4:15)–first to herself and then to others.
Hurry can turn my love on its ear like the flick of a lamp. Off.
“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love…” (Eph. 4:2).
If only I’d applied God runs my day to the next precious person whom He gave me to serve.
At home, my husband was boiling a plastic tub of bean dip in a pan on the stove. He’d hoped it was homemade chili. Frustrated at this new delay, I marched to the garage and yanked chili from the freezer.
I had trusted God when He’d dropped a crying stranger in my path. But now, I grumbled about my husband coming for lunch–to his home, to his castle.
I slammed chili into a casserole dish to thaw, dirtying three pans to find the right size. I heard God calling, but I stormed past Him. I forgot to see Him in my husband’s face. I checked the time–there wasn’t enough to prepare the chili before Tim returned to work.
I shoved it back in the freezer.
Flinging the pantry door open I gave him (or was it Him?) canned chili to cook for himself (Himself). I darted around–fussing, annoyed, and anxious.
But, back at camp–an hour late–no one had missed me.
The other two helpers chatted. The campers swam in the lake (as it turned out) another hour-and-a-half. I heard His soft voice, “See, daughter? Do you understand now?”
My heart ached over my sin. I had to speak truth to myself–I hadn’t trusted God’s timing for camp or for Tim. I had failed the real test. I hadn’t walked in a manner worthy of the calling. I hadn’t been humble, gentle, patient, forbearing in love, or anything near a Good Samaritan.
I had been a robber.
I confessed it all to God. When I got home, my sweet husband apologized for “messing everything up,” which stabbed me to the core. I asked his forgiveness.
I dusted off my spiritual knees to try again.
How about you? Is it easier to walk “worthy” with strangers, friends, or family?
For me, family relationships are the most humbling litmus test of who I really am and a continual reminder of why I need a Savior.
In Ephesians, Paul called himself “a prisoner of the Lord” and determined to “walk in a manner worthy” of that calling.
I want that perspective with every one of my callings. I know I’ll fail again and again until heaven. I know I’ll need the Holy Spirit for every step of worthy walking. But whether wiping noses, pulling a lamb into this world, making a handmade card or even–as God calls– being a prisoner for His sake, I want to be intentional about what it looks like to walk in a manner worthy.
What are your callings? How do you remember to be intentional about walking worthy when the day zooms in and out of different callings?