When you hear her story, you hear evidence that Adryahna is learning to say YES to God’s invitation. And in her learning, she is leading beautifully!
I know that some of us grew up talking about “THE decision” to follow Jesus as a singular pinnacle event that makes all the difference—as if that’s the only obedience that matters. As if one right choice will lead us down a smooth path of holy living. Maybe you’ve experienced that. I have not. Surely there are some significant choices that turn us dramatically or set us on a course, but the invitation to wholeness comes daily, hourly, and so does our “yes.” We have to learn to say YES time and again and again.
I also know that some of us grew up understanding God’s invitations as being strangely limited—strange, because God’s grace and strength is clearly limitless. Jesus extended the invitation to his future disciples with two words: “Follow me.” It seems that sometimes we interpret ‘follow’ to mean that Jesus is saying “take on the role of full-time Christian worker.” I don’t want to get all slicey-dicey in this, but will say that I’ve grown to believe that God’s invitation is always to himself and that our YES takes myriad forms which include vocational decisions and relational priorities.
Now, back to Adryahna who is graduating from University this Spring, who has been serving as a student leader with InterVarsity on her campus for a few years, and who demonstrates gifts that would make her a great candidate for all kinds of “full-time Christian worker” roles. Having heard that, and remembering that I give leadership to a student missions conference that has mobilized thousands into missions, you might be surprised to hear me say that I applaud her obedience to God’s invitation that did NOT lead her to serve in under-resources classrooms with Teach for America or to join InterVarsity staff. Adryahna has said YES to moving back home to no known job and with a longing to see restoration and hope spring up in the hearts and minds of her family and her old high school friends.
We all each and all called to be full-time disciples—whole-life, whole-world disciples. Sometimes that will require a lot of paperwork, but not always. I’m convinced that God’s invitation—that Jesus’ “follow me”—is about WHO we are and to WHOM we belong. Where that takes us is secondary.