When I was 10 years old, the vision I had for myself by the time I reached 25 went something like this: find a beautiful bride; begin a short career in the NFL; have 3 kids; own a successful architectural firm based in the U.S. specializing in skyscrapers that also built beautiful churches in impoverished regions at no cost; have traveled to at least 20 countries; and maintain a full, thick head of hair.
Find a beautiful bride…check!
Although the ambitious dreams of my childhood have not all come to pass, God seemed to be charting for me another path. Some years ago, I considered myself an agnostic. I wrestled much with the idea of truth, meaning, reality, and faith. I spent hours each day in parks and coffee shops writing, thinking, reading, and talking with anyone who was up for it. This time in my life, though dark, gave me a window into the great chasms of my heart.
Despite my rebellion towards God, Jesus and his gospel were graciously and beautifully made true to me. It became clearer that nothing in life can surpass the worth of knowing Christ (Phil 3:8). If the grace of God was extended to me in this way, these truths, I thought, must be extended to others.
I do not think it just happenstance that my love for people began growing during this time as well. Those conversations I had with men and women in the city came to bear on my mind. There was a growing sense and strong desire in my heart that God may have me be a part of caring for God’s church to lead men and women to believe the gospel, enabling saints to do the work of ministry (Eph 4:11-12).
I made it to Seven Mile Road some time after God opened my eyes to the gospel. The people here have been dear to my heart. Some of my strongest friendships have been formed here. The church itself is also in the city that I love and have grown up in. All of these things considered, I wondered if pastoral ministry might be the path God has charted for me. So after much prayer, reflection, talks with my wife, pastor, and friends, I pursued the possibility.
On Tuesday I was welcomed to join the elder track at our church. I am thankful to God, my wife, Ajay, and SMR for this chance. If I’m honest…it’s a bit daunting. I trust that this season will be for the good of my soul and faith. Pray for my heart – that I would be honest, teachable, humble, diligent, and receptive. God’s grace and peace to each of you.