My biggest fear as a Christian, now that I’m married and the rapture did not come before I lost my virginity, is that God will call me somewhere I don’t want to go. Now that I have given him my life he will say in a James Earl Jones voice, “Jon, I want you to go to the deepest, darkest jungle in a country you didn’t even know existed. And I want you to teach calculus and Bible stories to the people there. I have spoken.” I’d have no problem with the Bible stories, but as a writer, math is my sworn enemy. When I have to count or do simple addition in my head, it’s like entering mortal combat and I rarely win. But that is what I am afraid of. I fear that God likes to call his people to do things they don’t want to do all in his name.
But I am struck by what Jesus says to some of his disciples. He sees that they are fishermen. He knows they are strong and weathered and outdoorsy and have the callused hands this cubicle worker like me will never possess. So what does he say to them? He says, “Come I will make you accountants of men.” OK, he doesn’t say that. He says, “Come I will make you fishers of men.” He speaks their language. He appeals to who they are at the core. That, is what I think God loves to do. He loves to take your past experience and radically make it your now experience using skills you already have. He didn’t take vigilant, powerful, aggressive Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus and say to him, “You there, with the tremendous experience of motivating people and spreading the word about issues, I want you to enter a cave and make handwritten bibles for my people. I have spoken.” Not at all, he says, “You there, on a road trip to Damascus. I want you to go on a much bigger road trip for me.” (Not a direct translation.)
My friend grew up in Guam and tells me it’s lovely. That’s great, but I don’t think I’m headed there. I think I’m going to stay in Atlanta, occasionally speak at some churches and continue to write mildly funny, moderately sarcastic missiles of awesomeness. (Please bear with me, humility is something me and God hope to have installed by 2010.)