"Yeah no worries Sir"
I beg your pardon? SIR!? I'd only asked him to collect the up the footballs after the session. Sir!? Me? A Sir!? No chance. I was 21 years of age, fresh out of university, and had somehow found my way to a secondary school playing field and had now been referred to as "Sir" by one of the students.
That final year of uni had been a strange one. I knew I'd have to find some sort of graduate scheme or other employment after I finished, and identified the two things that were true as I embarked upon the journey.
1) I was studying for a degree in Politics.
2) I loved Jesus.
There were some pretty nifty schemes and internships available for Christians seeking to enter the political world which looked great. I dutifully applied, and was rejected, by every single one.
It definitely hurt. I felt quite confused, and was culpable of fantasizing about getting each job before I'd even applied, let alone been rejected.
With every passing "Thank you for your application. However..." email I received, I felt my heart warming to something else entirely.
Did I love politics in the same way I loved Jesus? Not even close. So what could my calling be?
In my time at university I had been blessed to be impacted in a number of ways by a series of interns at the church I intended. These were people who had just graduated, and were at the start of their professional lives.
They arrived at the church from different universities and cities, but were united in their year-long dedication to Christ's Church.
They had different roles and responsibilities, but all had said "yes" to the adventure of giving a year of their life after university to complete service.
Some were engaged with youth work, some with media development, some with worship, children's work, student work, or as I did, sports ministry.
With every email of rejection from a grad scheme, I became a bit more certain that a year of interning at the church was right for me.
"Calling" is a loaded term, and maybe God speaks to you in a different way. For me, I noticed how my desires changed from "Let's go get that job in the big city and start balling" to "Let's go and serve Jesus and see what happens".
I unearthed a true passion and fire for students and student mission. The year I spent with my church as an intern released me into what has proven to be my calling - even if I did accidentally become a PE teacher along the way.
How could a year working for the church help you to explore your long-term calling? Other interns at the church I served at have gone on to find jobs in both the Christian and secular worlds, indicating a church internship doesn't have to be the start of a lifetime working with other Christians.
If your church doesn't already have an existing intern program, could you contact a church leader to declare your interest? They'd be so blessed by you, and if your experience is anything like mine, you'll be blessed too - immeasurably.
Start the adventure today by sending an email, a text, a carrier pigeon to whoever you need to contact. Start the process of digging deep and uncovering your calling.