It’s student orientation AND just a week shy of my 34th birthday.
Sitting in the audience I’m very aware that I’m feeling as though I should at least be an adjunct with the other actual contributors to society up there on the stage by now (Ohmyword…the voices in my head sometimes).
But I’m not. I’m
just entering into the next phase of education. A phase that has been built on story: a paradoxical existence of faith and impatient mistrust, of grief and of grace, and especially built on the intersection of failure and accomplishment. And I’m ok with that… maybe even content with entering into a new (Or rather, another) phase of education.
Well, today at least. Ask me tomorrow and I’m sure I’ll tell you I have nothing, have done nothing, will do nothing. Ever. But we’ll talk about that later….
Today I’m a fearless timid student, (Yes. Fearless and timid). I thrive on the ideals of a future built on the very nature of my character juxtaposed with the God-given burden of passion I hold. Equally, I fear that I have nothing of true value to offer; that all that I am pursuing and asking for in my story is just a pipe dream of misinterpreted narrative. I know I am not alone in this conflict of self. As my new professor stood before her incoming class and described how being a professor was never something she wanted, she discussed the seemingly incongruent details of her journey to this point in her life. Towards the end of her story she made a statement that truly resonated with me. She said, “I’m an odd choice…”
This. Just…yes. Me too.
As I had engaged throughout my orientation, I cycled through varying levels of emotions from contentment and assuredness, to trepidation and failure. I’m an odd choice for seminary. I’m an odd choice for counseling. I’m an odd choice for speaking and teaching. And yet. I am the choice.
Romans 8:30 seems to help a little with this war of emotions. Although, I am no theologian, I have been given a mind to speak and reason. When I read Romans 8:30, I am encouraged: Granted, the scripture is often taken out of context somewhat, just as I have used it (To help overcome the apprehension of coming to the realization that I am most definitely an odd choice). Ultimately, this verse speaks to the saving grace of our Creator being consistent and present. However, I don’t believe it is wrong to overlay this verse with the tension felt of not knowing fully the path we are chosen to fulfill. It’s important to recognize that we look at ourselves from a sea level viewpoint. It is really hard to understand anything of the terrain from that low a view, amiright?! Allowing the perspective to move to a fifty-thousand-foot view would cause everything to look a lot differently. The ministry for which we are individually and collectively created probably makes a lot more sense from up there (Imagine. God knows more about our contribution to the body than we do…).
I am stubborn. Forgetful. Blunt. Controversial. Impatient. Self-centered. Introverted. Inarticulate. I am an odd choice for the life of seminary, for counseling, for speaking. If you ask me I’d report myself better suited for movie critiquing, or pillow testing. Maybe even professional pencil sharpener. Yeah. I’d be real good at that.
See, that’s the of the crux of this whole thing. Being the choice simply extraordinarily means that it isn’t about what I can and cannot do, it is wholly about being present to the kingdom of God that is here and now. Our Creator takes GREAT delight in each of us. In gifting us uniquely and contrastingly, so that His glory, His grace, might be more evident. Stepping into truest self is less about who you are and absolutely about reflecting the life-light of a Holy God.