Incomplete? Yes, and Sorry.
Monday, March 3, 2014 at 9:36PM
Ben Simpson in Calling, Life, Vocation, Writing

Dear Friends:

A couple of you have reached out today, wondering why in the world a blog post on vocation and calling dropped in to your mailbox this morning, obviously filled with gaps and incomplete thoughts. First, thank you for caring enough to bring this to my attention. And second, this was not intentional.

For weeks, I've been attempting to write my story, and to do so in a way that is honest and forthright concerning the various complexities that have factored in to my journey these past eight years, culminating in my call to serve as a pastor in Fort Worth this past summer, yet expressing the proper measure of appreciation for the relationships and the circumstances God has coalesced to form and shape my character. Much of what God was doing, at the time, was far beyond my grasp, but now seems only fitting. Right now, my essay stands at over 2,000 words. By the time I am done, it may run double that amount or more--in other words, a long read.

Most often, when you hear a story of transition from one place to another, there are clean lines. My life has anything but. We simplify our stories, even when they are messy. We know better than to concede that life is that way, and we readily admit that the best stories are those with depth. But those kinds of stories are the hardest to tell, even when they are told succinctly and clearly, brief and pointed. Said differently, there is a place for both parables and Proust. My recording of my story is presently being done for my own self-understanding, but I'm also sure there are friends who want to know why my life has changed the way that it has, what our family has been through these past several months, and I want to share my life. I could tell the story very simply, in words, but I don't think I'd be doing it justice. I don't think I'd be naming those people who have played a key role, or integrating the voices of theologians and authors who have so shaped my life and inspired my vocation to the degree to which they deserve. I'm finding there are a number of themes to be developed, if for no other person but myself.

I did not blog through the process of calling and discernment. I only had a small circle of counselors in whom I could confide. And I think the past decade, or slightly less, has been foundational for who I am, serving as a pastor, today. I've been surprised by the plot development. I've been more surprised by the Author. And I'm still discovering things about myself, a bit player, but a character nonetheless.

Please give me a few more days to put more time and energy in to the telling of my story. Now that I know you are waiting, and curious, I will do my best to make the telling public sooner rather than later. Until then, patience.


Article originally appeared on Benjamin A. Simpson (
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