Now the Lord said to Abram, 'Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you. Genesis 12:1
I was on my second deployment when the call came. I was waiting for my Marines to return from a mission, and as usual, they had been delayed. It was already after midnight, and since there was no point in going back to bed, I went for a run instead. So I turned right out of the motor pool and headed down the long and lonely stretch of asphalt leading to the flight line. There was a six-mile loop I liked to run that brought me close to the runway and skirted the perimeter of Camp Leatherneck. Most of the time, the blinking red lights of the runway turned my thoughts to home and family, but tonight was different.
There was this feeling I couldn't shake. Here I was living every Marine officer's dream—serving as a Company Commander in combat. I'd spent the last eight years preparing for this opportunity, and yet now that it was here, something was wrong. The adrenaline, excitement, camaraderie, pride, discipline, love of country and Corps—it just wasn't enough anymore. God was calling me to something more. At the time, I didn't know exactly what shape it would take. All I knew was that God had ignited a burning desire within me to make Him known. He was pointing me to a different kind of ministry.
Hearing the call is one thing; responding is another. Only a few years before, we'd bought our first home. With the market flooded with new construction, selling it would be a bear. And though the deployments were tough and the pace was demanding, we had grown accustomed to life in the Corps, and enjoyed the benefits it provided. To complicate matters, we'd already invested almost ten years in the Corps. It seemed far more prudent to ride out ten more, retire with full benefits, and then answer the call.
Throughout this time, I kept thinking of Abraham, how God called him from his place of comfort, success, and security, into the great unknown—"the land which I will show you." I won't say the transition has been easy. Change never is. But it has been worth it.
About the Contributor
Jason is the Director of Youth Ministry at FPC. Before coming here he spent nine years as an active duty Marine. He is married to Melanie and they have two children, Claire and Benjamin. Jason enjoys "thrashing" church members two times a week at boot camp.