We're here to talk about the wild, ridiculous love and grace of Jesus. So come along for the ride, and take time today to laugh, love & forgive. Never regret anything that makes you smile. Don't label people & focus on the positive. And enjoy EVERY sandwich!
Today's #DangerDays guest post is from my Twitter "brother from another mother" Jason Huffman. I am so excited to have Jason share his thoughts with you today! You can check out Jason's wonderful blog by visiting http://jasonbhuffman.wordpress.com/ and you can find him on Twitter @jasonbhuffman. Thanks for sharing, my friend!
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To most people I probably seem like a somewhat boring person. I have no tattoos, piercings, or military history. My nights and weekends are filled with time with family and church events. When I do get time to get away for myself, it's usually spent in the great outdoors. No wild nights rubbing elbows with celebrities getting into all kinds of trouble. You know, just ordinary. But when Carl asked for people to write guest posts for his #DangerDays series, I got excited. Because Danger Days was about taking risks. And while I've never moved across the country with just the clothes on my back or done anything drastic like that, I did have to step out and trust God at a major juncture in my life, and it's a story I love to tell.
In 2004, I went through a divorce that changed the course of my life. I had been serving in a Baptist church and the divorce was a time for me to take a break from ministry and a time for the church to try to find someone new to fill my position. the divorce came at exactly the same time I was finishing my masters degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, specifically, my wife moved out the week of graduation. So embracing the opportunity for a change of scenery, at the age of 27 I moved back home with my parents like a scared dog. I didn't have the desire or energy to do ministry and after a three-month job search I got a job selling insurance which I would keep for two years. You can smell the danger in the story, right? I know the cliffhanging drama just makes the hair stand up on your neck, right? Well, it does get better.
After two and a half years out of ministry, I missed this job I had grown to love so much. And while my insurance job afforded me a good paycheck and a regular schedule of hours with nights, weekends, and holidays free, I had no passion about the job. Sure I was providing a service and helping families get the coverage they needed, but I missed teaching the Bible and helping youth become disciples of Jesus. I had gotten involved in a great church and had even helped their recently-hired youth minister get settled into his first ministry position, and this only made me miss it more.
So on a Tuesday afternoon, after a less-than-successful insurance appointment, on a whim I drove to First United Methodist Church. I was not Methodist. Actually I was far from it. Over the last few weeks I had been sending resumes to Baptist and other evangelical churches looking to get back into church work, and wasn't getting any call backs. The only connection I had to the Methodist church was that two years prior, the pastor at FUMC had wanted me to consider doing youth work for them. It was right on the heels of my divorce and I just knew it would not have been the right time for me or the church. So I politely declined. But two years later, the idea was a lot more appealing. Before I knew it, I was sitting in the pastor's office talking about the possibility of doing youth ministry again. As I sat and visited with the same pastor I'd declined two years earlier, I thought to myself, I don't know anything about John Wesley. I don't know anything about infant baptism. I don't know anything about liturgical calendars. etc. But as I sat and argued with myself, I told myself and the pastor that I knew about Jesus and I knew about the church. And fear turned into peace. A week later, I had a job that would go from a lay staff position to eventually becoming a member of the United Methodist clergy and I still have more work to do.
The reason this boring guy can talk about Danger Days is because if fear of unchartered waters had won out, I would have missed a great opportunity. I had a lot of misconceptions that had really weighed on me. And while this story seems plain and simple, trusting God was at the heart of all of it. There are a number of coincidences in this story that I left out for brevity. The fact is that God was working in me and the church at the same time bringing it all together. So really, to me, Danger Days is not really about jumping out of airplanes or running down speeding trains. It's about trusting God, and for me, sometimes, that can seem pretty dangerous.