The Bible speaks to me. When you are walking with God you don’t have a license to do whatever you want, but the eyes of faith will filter a lot of what you see. And cause you to turn your head and pray when you see what you shouldn’t.
God gave Joseph a dream. I have a dream too. Joseph went through the ringer as God prepared him for the dream to come to pass. I have gone through the ringer. Joseph handled it with great faith and maturity, never complained, and never backslid nor questioned what God was doing. Um, that is where our similarities disintegrate, to my shame. On the flip side, I didn’t quit, and I can look back and see the hand of God. True faith is going forward even when you can’t see not only the hand of God but you can’t even see your hand in front of your face due to the fog you are traveling in.
The fog is slowly lifting but something that is speaking to me is a message I heard from my friend Stuart Harvey, a pastor in England. He preached at our Camp Meeting and he mentioned the perfect will of God vs. the permissive will of God. If we get off track, and miss Plan A, God will use Plan B to get to Plan C to get to Plan T to Plan Y to Plan Q and finally we will end up back at Plan A. Unless we become a casualty or a castaway in the process. I feel I am destined for Plan A-.
Regardless, my vision is to get to full time evangelism and use the gifts of writing God has given me, and use the call to preach as often as I have a door of utterance. Today I was on my way to the University when the thruway I was driving suddenly was closed off. I had to take the exit for downtown instead. I could not get to the college. Instead I followed the door that now was open and ended up having a good evening anyway preaching on the streets of Buffalo and giving out some tracts. I had some great conversations and was surprised people were still downtown at 7pm when everything seems to shut down there at 5o’clock. Nothing happened that screamed, “This is why I closed the thruway!” but that was the door I followed.
A verse that speaks to me is Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. I don’t know, however, how God wants me to truly apply it. Move to the city? Just keep going to the city and preaching when I can? Get a job downtown?
During my flashes of spiritual greatness (just kidding) I show my not so spiritual side as three guilty pleasures I have enjoyed are the Pixar movies Brave and the Incredibles and the cooking show Master Chef. I don’t have a chapter and verse to justify watching them, and my only excuse is they are more edifying than America’s Got Talent. I do think it is no coincidence that the Bible warns of people Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. That describes America well right now, and is it no wonder that chefs today are now TV stars and earning fame and fortune? We pay millions to men who can throw a ball through a hoop. Now we do the same for someone who can fry up a steak.
However, I have seen my dilemma and dreams expressed in these pieces of entertainment. For example, the Incredibles is a movie about Superheroes who get sued saving someone who didn’t want to be saved. The government starts paying major lawsuits and soon initiates the Super Hero Relocation Program, where superheroes have to go back to “their secret identity being their only identity”. They are forced to fit in, and Mr. Incredible is stuck at a desk, stamping insurance claims, and obviously miserable in not being allowed to use his powers. That is exactly how I feel being a pharmacist. You have to bow down to the pharmacy gods and you cannot live out your Christianity. I was fired from a company simply for saying I was against the Morning After Abortion pill. I merely told an employee that I know homosexuals are not born that way because I know many that God saved out of that lifestyle and that same week the Human Resource Police were pulling me into the office giving me a warning. I have a career in pharmacy. It is getting in the way of my calling. I try to fit in, I try and make it work, but it is like trying to fit in one of my boys T-shirts. I can maybe get in it, but it is obvious I am not meant to be wearing it.
On to Brave. In the movie Brave, the main character wants to change her fate. That is all I want. I am not begging for money, but if I was out of debt I could leave pharmacy. I can’t get ahead with pharmacy because they keep forcing me out because I can’t make it fit!!! And when I was working, I had faith enough to give it away because when the time came, I knew God would open the floodgates and come through. I don’t need a million dollars to change my fate, but if 100,000 people gave me $10, I wouldn’t complain. Or if 10 people gave me $100,000!
Now I will end with Master Chef. Three months ago, 20 people started in one of the biggest cooking competitions in the world. The winner gets $250,000, a trophy, and their own cookbook. They won’t have to start cooking at Dennys now to get started in the restaurant business. What spoke to me was hearing some of them know after going through this competition how they now had confidence they could have a successful cooking career. They were paralegals, delivery men, carpenters, you name it. Even if they didn’t win, the fact people believed in them and the fact they had an open door to explore their passion made all the difference.
That is a lot like my writing and ministry ideas. I have a passion to write, to preach, to evangelize and change the world. All I know about making a living is the pharmacy world, and that is drying up. I think if I had some validation, some guidance, and some capital to buy me time and give me the confidence to put the pharmacy career on hold I could make it.
I won’t win at Master Chef no matter how good my boys think my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese comes. But it has opened my eyes by pointing the finger at the real issue.
I don’t think I can make it without pharmacy but because of pharmacy I am too busy to pursue my dreams. It will take something incredible for sure to change my fate.