Reflections on things that matter.
I think I have relocated my “try” button. By God’s grace, I have stumbled upon some gumption regarding my next steps. A few blogs ago I talked about how my dreams had become a box that was confining me and keeping me from living. In that moment, I was very right. My desire to become a professor was strangling me. I couldn’t see past what I wanted, which also meant I couldn’t see how to get what I wanted.
While journaling this morning, I found myself fighting with some of the same feelings I fight most mornings. First, I question my place in the universe, then my purpose, then my prospects. This while existential introspection takes place before morning coffee…or over morning coffee, depending on how long my process is. Today’s process wad different, though. Today I was supposed to inquire after a job I applied for back in October. The job had been re-posted, so I was going to visit the establishment and see if I could give them a reason to re-examine my application. Well, I started to feel funny about that. Apprehensive. That’s never a good sign, so I started journaling and asking God why I wasn’t feeling too groovy about this course of action. I’m excellent at what I used to do, which was work Circulation at the library. This job was perfect, wasn’t it?
But as I was journaling about this disturbance in the Force, my mind’s eye started shifting to the reality of my academic situation. I am 6 classes away from graduating with my MA in Theological Studies. I will graduate in December. My plan had always been to apply for Ph.D programs in literature in the fall of this year so that I can get into school for the fall of 2015. I realized as I journaled that I still want to do that. I still want to study literature and I still want the Ph.D. My dreams were rising from the dead like a phoenix.
But wait. Weren’t those the same dreams that were suffocating me? Yes, indeed they were, but the dreams themselves were not the problem. They were sick. They were swollen and inflamed. I think that for the past several months, God has been endeavoring to give me a healthy perspective on my life and the things that motivate my actions. Wanting the right thing for the wrong reasons is still dangerous. In fact, such a desire can kill you dead before you even reach the goal. I think I see that now.
I also see that I’m talking to Him more. God. The God who scares me. The God I don’t understand. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.” This scripture means something different than “have blind faith in an abstraction.” In fact, I think it’s dependent on the next part: “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” Trust is a big word. It’s a huge concept. I don’t know how to go from zero to ‘trust’ in under 2 seconds. But I do know how to acknowledge. I do know how to say “what do you think, God?” I think that is the first step to having the trust to say “thy will be done.” It’s not “faith, trust, and pixie dust” to follow God. It’s a relationship. That means I am getting to know him. There is no download that gives you enough knowledge about God to trust him. There’s no app for that. There is only the slow, awkward process of getting to know Him.