(Orange, Texas)

September 29, 2012

Purpose brings joy

John Warren
The Orange Leader


I still find it amazing that I have been married one year and nine months.  (I have always been a late bloomer! - My wife and I met sixteen years ago.)  At that time, I was one of two Associate Ministers of a 1550 member church in West Houston.  My duties in the church were to be the Minister of Evangelism, Youth, Pastoral Care and Singles.  It was through the Evangelism program that I first met Sandra.  I organized teams of people to go out on Tuesday nights to visit the folks who had attended one of the Sunday Worship Services.  Sandra was one of those people I visited.

Most of the time, United Methodist Ministers are appointed to serve in churches.  But at that time, the Senior Minister was given the right to hire Associates to serve with him.  I interviewed in February but after some prayer declined the offer to go to the church.  Three months later, after an acute glaucoma attack, Doctors recommended that I move to Houston.  I found myself calling the Pastor to see if the job was still open.  During the most painful time in my life, I had to be driven to the interview, because I was on pain killers. I interviewed again and accepted the position.  It proved to be one of my most difficult assignments of my ministry.  The staff was difficult to work with, the church was in constant turmoil and I was busy with more work than one man could do for six long years and 8 eye surgeries.

Today, I look back at that time differently because it was there, that I met the woman who became my wife.  My purpose and God’s purpose were completely different.  The purpose of that appointment was not to accommodate my medical needs but to bring Sandra and I together.  She has changed my life.  Six months after our wedding we moved to Orange, bringing about a major change in Sandra’s life.  She left a 19 year position, with a law firm in Houston, and has found a new purpose in her life.  She has found her gifts and joy, to be a teacher of high school Spanish.  She loves her students and her work.  Sandra and I feel blessed to have the work we have.  Jesus said in Matthew 6 that your purpose in life should be to love God and to love people.  When you can do that in your career and life, you find it all a joy.