Tuesday, May 29, 2018

"A Vocational Shift"

Acts 18:3-5 NIV

“…and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ”.

Paul made a vocational shift when former traveling companions Silas and Timothy arrived to assist him with the church in Corinth. The strength of their friendship formed an unshakable bond. The apostle had invested in the lives of these men for years and could now depend on their support. Until now, Paul had remained fully dedicated to his profession as a tentmaker and preached “every Sabbath” in his spare time.

Consistently and over time, Paul earned a reputation as a consummate tent-making professional and a dedicated synagogue volunteer. He also proved his love for those who would eventually underwrite his full-time ministry. Paul earned the right to make a vocational shift.

There is honor in work and the Lord blessed me with a terrific job. I was devoted to my clients and they continue to send me referrals, even though I have not worked in that industry since my wife was diagnosed with Leukemia in October 2014. Those referrals go to my adult daughter who has taken charge of our family business. Since my dear wife passed away nearly three years ago, I have continued in my new role as full-time parent to my teenagers at home and in college. My days have been filled with domestic activities like household chores, home finances, grocery shopping, and cooking. I also receive a small salary as the executive director of an addiction recovery program which has helped approximately eight hundred and fifty men and women since its inception in September 2009. I am passionate about this ministry and plan to continue in my leadership role until my retirement at age seventy.  

My life is not over. I have a new job to do. I greatly miss my wife and, on some days, I even miss my role as a business leader providing for the financial needs of my family. Paul made the vocational shift. “He was a tentmaker who eventually “devoted himself exclusively to preaching.” Now I have made similar shift. I hope and pray I am worthy of my new role in this full time ministry God has gifted to me. 

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