I must confess, I have not converted a nation to Christ, died a martyr’s death or established a great missionary movement since graduating from Bible Collage. Actually, when I think about it, it seems as though I’ve done hopelessly little as far as any ministry goes. God allowed me to be a part of his awesome work in the Lost River youth group just after I graduated. That was a powerful time in my life, both spiritually and ministerially but, as time would have it, it became occasion to move on. Moving witnessed me working full-time as a Child/Youth Care Worker in my Uncle’s group home. This position stretched and challenged me for almost two years as I learned to tackle the behavior of teenage boys growing up in “the System.” Again, time would have its way however and my life-gate swung open to Seminary and shut to Social Services. Envisioning the greatness of God’s intention for my life, I entered those scholarly halls with enthusiasm and excitement. I learned a great deal at Seminary, much to spur my thoughts and challenge destructive assumptions. What I did not glean was a specific ministry calling upon my life. I left Seminary with my enthusiasm greatly tarnished. No matter what direction I sniffed I could not pick up the scent of God’s peace-giving assurance. The doors of “full-time ministry” were shut to me. I was left in the hollow hallway of the every-day. Today, I am still in that hallway. I’ve been a carpenter for the last couple years. I breath in a great deal of second-hand cigarette smoke each day and with it instruction from my boss on how to finish a house properly. I am not married. Last April I bought a house in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta near family. If I were, to guess at what God is trying to show me I would say it is to flourish where I’m at. Don’t wait for some doorway to open to some great ministry opportunity. Life is not about “becoming great for God.” I’m just supposed to love God and people in my hallway.
Paul Hartman- November 2012