Father, I appreciate having Our Daily Bread as a part of my regular routine. They are solid in their teachings. I am grateful for the diversity of the many authors of these short, pithy devotionals. I would ask that You continue to bless their efforts as they touch lives across the globe.

I mention them today because, quite often they make me stop and think and today’s devotional, Marking Time, did just that. The author, David McCasland, used Psalm 25:1-15 to talk about waiting.

Lord, waiting can be a challenge – like waiting for the novocaine to do its thing before getting a filling at the dentist – like certain days at work when time seems to crawl and you just want to go home. For the most part in life waiting is not an option, it’s just something we have to do. But as McCasland points out, “we can decide how we wait.”

I am a bi-vocational pastor- basically, that means I pastor a church (or in my case two churches) but because they are smaller congregations with limited resources I have to work another job for the bulk of my income. Now my heart is all about ministry and nothing would bring me greater joy that to be able to serve full-time in ministry. But… that’s not how God has chosen to use me.

I started working at Kohl’s in 2000 and started pastoring the first of my churches in 2002. So for 14 years I have been bi-vocational. And I have been waiting…and waiting…and waiting – waiting for God to call me to full-time ministry. I just feel I could serve my churches so much more effectively if that were the case.

Sometimes I struggle with the waiting but I cannot escape the fact that in many ways I am a full-time minister. There’s not much spiritual challenge in pulling jewelry out of baggies and displaying them on a fixture but when I walk into work every day I don’t flip a switch and turn the minister part of me off.

As I have shared with many, in essence, Kohl’s is like a third church for me. Now we don’t sing hymns and I don’t preach, as such, but I touch lives every day with the love of God. God has used me over and over again to touch people who might otherwise not really have that opportunity.

I impact them but they impact me, as well. As a bi-vocational pastor, I am able to keep my finger on the pulse of humanity. I have not cocooned myself in the security of the church. I am regularly exposed to the raw reality of life. I strive every day to be the hands and mouth of God to a hurting world. I strive to let my light shine brightly in the darkness. I feel God’s heart for people. It impacts me there but it comes out in the pulpit as well.

I may be waiting – and it may be that my waiting will never end. But it is not wasted time. God is good all the time – my life is in His more than capable hands and He can do as He pleases for He surely knows better than I.

July 19th, Tue, 6:18 am