For years of my life I didn’t get that. I still remember hearing my mom talking about obligation. It went something like this. Because of my bitterness against the ministry, I grew up determined that I would not do some things. In fact, there were two things I said I would not do. I said I would never live in Eastern North Carolina; and I said I would never, under any circumstances, be a pastor. My mother, whenever she would hear me say that would always say, “You’d better be careful what you say, son.” Implicit in her warning was this: “God will always make you do what you don’t want to do, just to show you who’s the boss.” My attitude was, “Well God will have to write it in the sky and then drag me kicking and screaming to eastern NC, cause I ain’t going.”
Does God have a sense of humor or what? I never imagined that I could actually enjoy the ministry and learn to love Eastern N.C. but I have. You see, shepherding isn’t a matter of obligation. It’s a want to not a have to. A shepherd has a real willingness to do what God calls him to do.