by: Jared McCaleb, CKM Speaker
Those are the words that I kept hearing over and over again when I was a senior in college!!!
After all, I was 23 years old, in the first semester of my final year in college (the 6 year plan) and struggling to figure out what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Has there ever been a moment in your life where you felt like you were going in circles… around and around you went… wondering what in the world God was doing?
This was that moment for me in my life.
I had just finished my 100 hour internship for the Abilene Police Department and was about to play in the co-ed championship of Intramural Football. Looking back, we were supposed to dominate the game and bring home the trophy! But more importantly, I was on the path of pursuing a career in law enforcement. Honestly, I had watched so many episodes of Criminal Minds that I qualified myself as a world class criminal profiler.
A funny thing happened on the way to winning the championship. Midway through the game, I injured my knee, and a few weeks later I found myself coming out of total ACL reconstruction surgery. Due to physical requirements, the surgery and recovery set all of my plans back at least a year, probably longer.
It was in those lonely moments that I kept hearing God say, “Remember the calling that I gave you.” “The calling” on my life came the summer before my senior year of high school. God had used people like Todd Gaston and Clayton King to speak into my life and helped me discern what God was calling me to. The same week that I had surgery on my knee, the company that I worked part-time for was closing their Abilene office and moving back to Midland. I was at a point in my life where I had so many questions and so little time.
The next conversation that I had with one of my professors changed the course I was on, a conversation that was life altering. My professor and I had a fantastic relationship, and she knew my heart to serve people. I told her everything that was going on in my life, and she reminded me about her husband who was a youth pastor at a local church. She said that I needed to sit down with him, so I agreed. Two days later I was leading my first Bible Study with the students of FUMC, in Abilene, as their new intern. WOW!!! God used that time in my life to reaffirm everything He had called me to many years before.
My story was just beginning. It was such a great time in my life. Seriously, I was hanging out with teenagers who would smoke cigarettes before entering the church! God used me to minister to kids who had very little parental guidance in their lives.
The next several months in my life were fruitful. Then it came time to find a church that would invest in Shelby and I once we graduated in May of 2008. As I would apply to churches and send out my resume, the thing that I kept hearing LOUD AND CLEAR were these words: “You Are UNQUALIFIED!” “We are looking for someone who has a degree and much more experience.” Don’t get me wrong, I believe in education and pedigree, but at the same time, I was willing to go anywhere to serve people and work harder than anyone else. I had a chip on my shoulder! “You Are UNQUALIFIED!” “You Are UNQUALIFIED!” “You Are UNQUALIFIED!”
I had had enough. I couldn’t hear those words anymore. I was at the point of giving up. And then as God does what only He can do. He reconnected my mom and her childhood best friend at my twin sister's wedding shower. She reminded my mom that her brother was a pastor in The Woodlands, TX, and was looking for a young pastor to come and be a part of the church’s student ministry. I sent him my resume, interviewed with Mike Corb, who would become a great friend and mentor, and from there the rest was history!
Almost 7 years, 3 positions later, I am still a part of the church that I have come to love so much! “You Are UNQUALIFIED!” “You Are UNQUALIFIED!” “You Are UNQUALIFIED!” Those words almost PARALYZED me. But I never gave up. I kept begging God to open doors. And He was faithful. Just like Always!
What about you? Have you heard these words before? “You Are UNQUALIFIED!”
Mark Batterson said these words once that would forever change my life: “God doesn’t call the QUALIFIED. He qualifies the CALLED.” For 7 years now God has been qualifying my calling. He has given me a place to serve and a place to belong, and He has used people like Bruce Webb to allow me to get my feet wet in ministry!
What is God calling you to? How can I pray for you?
If you feel UNQUALIFIED, you are not alone. My name is Jared McCaleb, and I am UNQUALIFIED!