Where’s your Egypt?

Last month, during Catholic Schools Week, several members of the clergy spoke with our students about vocations. One young priest said he was positive during high school that he was called to the priesthood. He was ready to hit seminary right after graduation.

Unfortunately, seminary wasn’t ready for him. He was advised to spend some time in the world to make sure he was called. It seems the same conversation happened two more times.

The newly ordained priest told us one of his forays into the world ended him up in Wichita, Kansas working at Budget car rental. He said he felt like the Hebrew children when they were sent to Egypt: out of step, out of place, and out of mind.

I’ve been to Egypt, too. Mine was an urban alternative school. I spent most of my time unhappy and wondering what I’d done to deserve banishment.

Have you ever been sent to Egypt, figuratively speaking? Did you have any idea how you got there? Were you much wiser than me, and understood at the time that the Lord must have something to teach you?

Picture

As miserable as I initially was at the alternative school, now I’m thankful for most of the experience. I’m thankful for the incredible friends I made. I’m thankful for finally understanding that effective education can only be built on a foundation of relationships.

Most of all, I’m thankful God began to break my heart for children who were much different than mine. You see, without my Egypt, I wouldn’t be here with you now. I’m so thankful every time you stop by!

Back to school. Public schools obviously have a purpose. They also have limitations.

Nine more years were more than enough for God to completely break my heart. It was also enough for me to know I had to do more than “be nice” to all kids. Egypt taught me that my vocation is to write to encourage others, especially hurting kids.

Have you ever felt banished, or rejected, or abandoned? Have you ever been the guest of honor at a pity party? If you have, you’re not alone.

Elijah seems to have been one of God’s Top Ten Miracle Men. He was also one of God’s Top Ten Whiners. What! Guys in the Bible aren’t supposed to whine. Yeah, right!

Elijah’s story starts in I Kings 17. He’s doing all kinds of crazy, amazing things. Only two chapters later Elijah is doing all kinds of stupid. Just like that, he went from King of the Hill to man on the run.

But God wouldn’t let him go. And don’t think for a minute  we can hide from God anymore than Elijah could. ​


Picture

Hold on, here comes the good part. While Elijah was still in the middle of his mess, God ministered to him. God nourished his body and rested his soul. Then Elijah was ready to listen to what God had to say. Do we forget to take care of our bodies and souls sometimes? You betcha! I think that’s one of Satan’s tools to make us vulnerable.

Back to Elijah. Fed and rested, God directed Elijah to a new place. They were going to have a chat. The Lord let Elijah have his say. He reminded Elijah who was boss by showing him some pretty cool “natural” wonders. And once He had Elijah’s full attention, God gave him his marching orders. (I Kings 19:4-18)

Dear Reader, I pray you have spent time in a personal Egypt. If you’re there now, please take heart from Elijah, a new priest and a retired teacher. You’re there for a reason. Let God nourish your body and soul, then allow God’s “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12a) to direct your steps as He encourages you, “Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9b)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.