“Many are cauld, but few are frozen,” is the old parody of a well-known phrase. Folk tend to make fun of what they don’t understand! And, certainly, when it comes to the claims of God speaking personally to an individual, it is often thought to be peculiar. If my own experience is anything to go by, when people discover that I left a job teaching Chemistry in High School to train for the ministry of word and sacrament, there is usually one of three responses. A few folk say, “Did ye no’ like weans?” With others, the conversation stops abruptly, and they simply avoid me. But, a third reaction is one of heightened curiosity. It begins with statements like, “You don’t look like a minister, or talk like a minister, or dress like a minister!” Thankfully, these peripheral matters often give way to a much deeper discussion on the nature of my call to serve God in the church. But, I have to confess; it is not easy to explain that inner sense of compulsion, which I believe comes from the LORD. Genesis 12 outlines God’s call to Abram – “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Notice that there’s a great deal of detail on what Abram is to leave behind, and precious little information on where he is going! Both saying good-bye to the past, and hello to an uncertain future, is all done in faith by Abram. And, a simple statement, reflecting his utter obedience, marks that major turning point in his life – “So Abram left, as the LORD had told him…” Would that we all heeded God’s voice so readily. You see, you don’t have to be called to full-time service in the church to fulfil a vocation. God has many tasks to be done in the business of building His Kingdom, and each one is no less important than the others. Someone once said, “God doesn’t make cookie-cutter Christians.” What I think is meant here, is that each believer is unique in his or her character, gifting and opportunities to serve the LORD. We are not meant to compare ourselves with others, somehow thinking we are either superior or inferior to them in the service they offer God. Instead, it is crucial that we seek God’s guidance and listen for His leading that we might fulfil His plan for our particular lives. Abram heard and heeded the LORD’s particular and personal call to him (more about that in my next BLOG). What about you? How is God speaking to you? What is He saying?