Fall is my favorite season in Nebraska. The cooler temperatures, harvest, and fresh apples from the tree. It’s finally soup weather again and fire pit season. But the top reason I love autumn in Nebraska has to be the changing of the leaves.
I love the vibrant reds, oranges, yellows mixed with the green leaves on the trees. My favorites are the trees that seem to be changing from the inside out. The mottled hues cause me to stop and pause.
I thought of those trees on Sunday morning when our pastor talked about God’s calling at the intersection of inward and outward.
Now I don’t know if trees have a calling, but I know they have a purpose in each season. I know that each of us has a purpose and God has a plan for each of our lives. I believe that God calls everyone to some sort of ministry during different seasons of our lives.
It is a unique calling for each of us. Sometimes it is as a child that grows up knowing that music will always be a part of their lives and they make it a priority to develop that gift to share with others.
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Some of us don’t realize we are being called by God for a specific task until much later in life.
Pastor Roger said “If we can hear God’s calling and recognize it as being consistent with God’s call, His will and His ways in the world while receiving affirmation from other people, and then if we can find it within ourselves to respond to that call – we can find our lives transformed by the Spirit.”
“We can see the world transformed by God working in us and through us.”
He talked about the inward as being our relationship with God, our relationship with our community and our relationship and understanding of ourselves. The outward is how we respond in love to the needs of the world.
“God’s calling is at the intersection of the inward and outward,” said Pastor Roger.
We don’t have to travel very far into the world to see the needs.
There are food insecurities in our community. There are children who go to bed hungry or worried about their next meal here in Beatrice.
We know there are people with needs in substance abuse, mental health, suicidal ideations and neighbors who may be experiencing domestic violent situations.
There are so many needs, how do we choose which one we respond to in love?
Let me tell you about a young man in my neighborhood that needed a ride to school. I saw him walking down the sidewalk and knowing that his mom sometimes leaves early for work, I quickly packed up my bags and took him to the high school so he could be there on time.
A couple weeks I came upon a man and his wife that were driving down Ella Street when their hitch broke and the small trailer they had was sitting in the street. He needed it towed back to DeWitt and since I was going to do chores by Plymouth, I could help him. It was not too far out of my way.
It’s not difficult to find opportunities to serve God and to help in our community.
Maybe it’s simply encouragement or letting someone know that you’re praying for them. Maybe it’s a meal or a conversation.
What is you’re calling? How can you use your gifts? I encourage you to look towards the inward and outward beauty in the change of the trees for inspiration.