A voice in the wilderness: Under the stars

News | December 24, 2018

How did you end up as pastor?

This is a question I get a lot. So I don’t take up too much of people’s time, I often tell an abridged version of the story. I talk about how there were different points in my life where different people planted the seeds. Throughout my collegiate career these seeds blossomed into a sense of calling.

Some of the details I leave out involve two voices in the wilderness.

The summer after I graduated high school, my church, along with two other Lutheran churches in my area, took a trip to Franklin, West Virginia to build for Habitat for Humanity. I didn’t know Pastor Rob or Pastor Ian (the two other pastors on the trip besides my own) prior to this trip. Yet, it was their words that provided me with a sense clarity that I hadn’t felt before. They are a big part of the reason I ended up going to seminary.

One morning before we went off to our different work sites, I led a brief devotional. Later that morning Pastor Rob casually asked while we working, “Hey, have you thought about seminary?” The question caught me off guard. Who was this guy to ask me such as big question? With a brief laugh, I shrugged him off and explained I had no clue what I wanted to do.

That night, several of us spent time underneath the stars by the warmth of a campfire. Pastor Ian (not knowing my conversation with Pastor Rob) turned to me and asked, “Has anyone talked to you about seminary?” It was in that moment, around midnight in the middle of nowhere West Virginia, that God’s presence took hold of me and I knew there might be something to this seminary thing.

God spoke to me that week through the voice of two strangers. As we take this time of year to watch and wait, may we also take the time to listen, because God will continue to speak to all of us in many and various ways.

Kelsey Fitting-Snyder is a pastor at St. Paul. She lives in Davenport with her husband, Jon, and two cats, Jarvis and Felicity.

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