I recently participated in a lay-led worship service at my church, one of many in the past few years. During coffee hour, a woman told me something I’d heard before, which is that I have a very ministerial presence. I’m sure she meant it as a compliment, yet in thinking about it, I had a moment of internal crisis.
The crisis came because I spent quite a bit of time earlier this year working with a career counselor to determine what I actually want to be doing with my life. I knew without doubt that I did not want to work with software forever, but beyond that I had no clear direction. I was interested in too many things: ministry, environmental work, grief counseling, dietetics, and more.
What I eventually settled on was becoming a weight loss coach, but that casual remark at church made me question my decision. I cannot deny that ministry is still a draw for me, and I suspect that I will always seek out way to occasionally appear behind a pulpit. But what I realized once I got through my moment of doubt was this: helping people lose weight, at least the way I want to approach it, is ministry.
What else can it be when I consider that my goal is not to tell people what to eat but rather to help them redefine their relationship with food and their bodies, and in doing so reclaim their lives? How else to consider it when my work with them might lead them to reevaluate their impact on the earth based on what they eat, as I have? My own life has changed dramatically, and for the better, as a result of my own journey, and I want so much to help others find that change.
In the end, I’m grateful for that brief moment of panic because now, on the other side of it, I can say with confidence that this truly is my calling. I embark on this path now with a full and grateful heart, looking forward to my ministry.