It took me a long time to come out of the closet about this.
I decided to leave a comfortable corporate job and become a full-time minister because of my dog Stella. I never wanted to be a church minister. But Stella loved visiting the Ventura beaches.
So I applied for the job.
I remember feeling irresponsible at the time. I had a notion that I could be good at ministry; that I might help a few people; maybe inspire someone. But truth be told, it was puppy love that brought me to my church.
I compared myself to Martin Luther King who probably didn’t choose his church to please his dog.
Then I spoke with Marc my prayer partner.
“Marc,” I said. “Doesn’t my future congregation deserve someone with a deeper non-canine calling? Am I a bad person?”
Marc laughed and said, “God uses ridiculous bait to get us where we’re supposed to go.”
Looking back, thirteen years later, I see that Marc and God were correct. Stella brought me to Ventura. Stella kept me in Ventura. And almost like a side-effect, the congregation and I co-created a church that is mystical, sacred, rowdy, and real; a church that changes lives and blesses the world.
Years later, I can even confess to our congregation “I’m here because of my dog.”
“We know,” they say.
Maybe my head-shot tipped them off, the one I sent them for the initial interview, a picture of Stella and me grinning into the camera….
Like me, all those years ago, you may feel called to make a ridiculous change in your life. It might feel like you’re doing something for all the wrong reasons. But if your motivation is grounded in love, then trust is the answer.
“Love uses ridiculous bait to get us where we’re supposed to go.”
How will you allow ridiculous love to get you to where you’re supposed to go?