“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
Romans 11:29 ESV
My dad recently retired from a long career in the banking world, and has begun a new season as the associate pastor of my parent’s church.
My dad is the one that taught me, both by word and example, that calling isn’t the same as vocation – although the two can certainly overlap. I watched my dad work hard in his vocation to help people buy homes, and I watched him care for their hearts in the process.
A long-standing joke in our family is that we can’t go anywhere without running into someone that my dad knows and has probably helped get a loan. Even when I traveled to China the missionaries I worked with greeted me with “Your dad made us a home loan!” But beyond loans, every person we ran into spoke of how my dad had ministered to them.
“He prayed with me in the office.”
“Your dad listened and gave me such good wisdom.”
“My wife and I were going through a divorce and your dad spoke truth to me. He referred me to a pastor for counseling.”
“Your dad was so encouraging; he wasn’t afraid to talk about Jesus with us even as we got a home loan.”
“I was a single mom that no bank would take a chance on, but your dad helped me get a house and blessed me by teaching me how God cares for me.”
These statements are his legacy in the banking world. My dad has always ministered, always pastored, always cared for the hearts that walked into his office. He has always listened to the Holy Spirit and followed His leading in conversations, business deals, and his own life.
He has retired, taking a well-deserved step back from the hard pace of secular vocation. He worked well at his job, all to the glory of God.
But his calling is irrevocable, and he continues into a new season that has been his heart all along. My dad loves God and he loves people.