For four years I was an Assemblies of God minister and a monk with the Brothers and Sisters of Charity at the Little Portion Hermitage. This is an excerpt from my book Taking Off My Comfortable Clothes: Removing Religion to Find Relationship.
God never wastes time or people. You may feel that you’re sitting on the sidelines, waiting for life to begin. You’re wondering what significant contribution you’ll make to your family, church, community, and the Kingdom of God. You may even look back over your life and question God about tragedies and disappointments, heartaches and failures. Or, you may recall some of the significant changes that have taken place over the years, yet still wonder where it leads. But as I said, God never wastes time or people.
Every experience, every place, every encounter and every assignment you’ve had are stepping-stones to the next place God wants to take you. Where you are now is preparation for where you are going next. And about the time you’ve grown accustomed to your life and feel comfortable with your position, something happens that stretches your faith and character, and you feel like you are starting over. That’s okay. It sounds normal to me. I want to encourage you to get used to taking off your comfortable clothes, because God loves us all too much to leave us as we are. He is always and forever calling us to a higher form of living—one that is eternally conformed to the image and character of Jesus of Nazareth.
Furthermore, I want to remind you that your gifts, talents and acquired skills are never learned, exercised or enhanced in a vacuum. Everything you do well is a result of somebody’s influence in your life. Even the best singers, athletes, engineers, actors, pastors, or chefs are influenced and trained by others who have come before them. This means that you, too, are responsible for influencing the next generation of gifted and talented people who will influence the world for the Kingdom of God.