2018-01-12 / Chaplain's News

The unexpected journey

Chaplain (Maj.) Javon Seaborn
513th Military Intelligence Brigade

Jeremiah 1:4-12 New International Version (NIV)

The Call of Jeremiah

4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you, before you were born I set you apart;

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

6 “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.

9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

11 The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.

12 The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching[b] to see that my word is fulfilled.”

As we approach the genesis of Lent we may say to ourselves, “Now that Lent is here what do I want to give up?” I have often said those exact same words. I finally realized that my yearly Lenten journey had become more ritualistic than a spiritual reflection. This year those thoughts crossed my mind again and I told myself that I wanted Lent to be more meaningful and beneficial. So as I started this Lenten journey, a reading from the Book of Common Prayer for the “Fourth Sunday after Epiphany” took me to “Jeremiah 1:4-12”. I read the text in deep prayer and it finally dawned on me that the Lenten journey is about the sacrifice of yourself so that God can use you. Jeremiah was a young man in a nation that wasn’t following God. So the nation’s social climate was very distressed and disturbing. Here we see God coming down and telling Jeremiah to be a spokesperson to the nation of Israel. Our own Lenten journey allows us to be vulnerable before God and it shows that even though we have issues we must be willing to allow Him to come in our lives and to be used by Him. Jeremiah had issues, both social and economic, but eventually he gave in to God’s calling. Our Lenten journey takes us away from the secular world and brings us closer to our God so that we can see who we really are. Today you might be reading this article and perhaps you are like Jeremiah. You have had a vision that God was trying to tell you something but you chose to overlook it. Well it is not too late. You can start right where you are and just reflect back to the moment you felt like God was reaching out to you. Learn to pray and meditate on that thought or plan until God gives you further clarity and direction in your life.

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