“Many are called but few are chosen.” (Matt 22:14).
I learned this verse in third grade at the Good News Club. This was a Christian-after-school-program. The leaders of the program, Mrs. Dunkerton and Mrs. Smithebothom, gathered little children together to sing songs, hear Bible stories, and memorize verses for fun and prizes. I think I won a pale blue wallet with the “called and chosen” verse.
At the time, I didn’t think much about the meaning of these words. I just wanted that wallet.
I’ve heard this verse interpreted as a statement of Christian exclusivity.
I think it’s more about sacrificing the ego’s agenda.
Love summons the many, in fact everyone. Love calls you relentlessly. Love never shuts up. But will you choose it?
Last September, love summoned me. I was in Vancouver, minding my own business, sitting with my in-laws and stepchildren in a restaurant overlooking a bay. We were about to chow down on fresh B.C. salmon.
I pulled out my cell-phone to find a wedding photo to show them. In searching for the picture, I noticed an email from Nipun Mehta of ServiceSpace. The email invited me to India for a gathering called Gandhi 3.0.
I saw the email and thought of the Bible verse.
I knew I had been summoned. I knew I was called and chosen, shaken and stirred. I showed the email to my family and immediately said, “Oh shit. Yes. I’m going back to India.” Then I started to cry – a little bit fearful, not knowing why I was going, but mostly inspired by the pull of a Love greater than my small wants and needs.
Later I tried to wriggle out of my “yes.” I have a complex history with India that I’ll write about soon. Plus I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go in January, a busy time for me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave the comforts of California – my animals, my husband, my home.
So I asked the church board, “I probably shouldn’t go to India with Nipun Mehta, right?”
“Are you crazy?” they replied. “You have to go.”
Again I said yes. I bought my ticket. I chose love’s call.
It was an act of trust inspired by invisible Love assembling visible components for It’s mystical agenda. Yes.
Reflections: How is Love calling you? Are you choosing to answer Love’s call? Can you identify a place where Love may be assembling details of your life for something hidden yet wonderful?