I was walking the labyrinth, in and out, away from the center and towards the center, praying deeply about difficult choices I have to make in the near future when it occurred to me that perhaps, God might call me away from what I love to do in order to call me to a new thing. Even if I have felt called to camping for most of my career in ministry; over 12 years now, I might have to give it a rest for a while, even if I don’t want to.
I am now at the stage of life when making decisions for family over career begins to make itself felt. My first child will be born in January. My spouse is the major breadwinner of our family unit, so that leaves me with these difficult choices: Do I put my career on hold to become a parent and primary caregiver? Do I simply take the 12 week unpaid parental leave then enter my child into the childcare system at 4 months of age? Or do I leave the place I love, doing the work I do to be a house husband and primary caregiver?
Would God do that? Call me away from something I love to do and point me in the direction of doing something else? After thinking deeply about this, I have to answer, “Yes.”
Did not God call God’s self into being to be born in a limited human body for a time? Was not God incarnate in the life of a little baby, growing into a human child and on into a young adult? Was this an easy choice? Probably not, but it was the choice of love.
With the choice of love, I would choose to make my child, God’s gift to us in this time and place the priority. I would choose to limit myself and my career choices to become, instead, the one on whom dependence rests. At the same time, I would choose to become dependent on my wife and her career, letting go of my own, living out the grieving process set before me—in order to make that choice of love.
Is it choosing love that limits? Or is it limiting oneself that one chooses to learn and understand more deeply what love is all about?
That is the choice, and the fork in the road ahead. O Lord my God…walk with me and guide me in the way everlasting. Amen.