Sunday, October 4, 2009

On Living

Take one quick second and breathe in. Close your eyes, hold that breath. Tilt your head up toward the ceiling or sky and open your eyes as you blow it out.


One week of classes is finished, and it feels like nine. Don't finals start tomorrow?

In some ways, this year feels exactly like a continuance of last year. These friends who've been separated by a summer coming back together seamlessly. Hours of laughter and stories and homework and sharing meals and curling up together to listen to the wind.

In other ways, this year feels completely foreign. Who are these faces at floor meetings I don't recognize? What is this absolute mountain of homework fallen from the sky? Where did this beautiful room and completely perfect roommate come from?

I love it. I love this year. And yet, at the very same time, there is still so much anxiety in my heart at all times. I cannot relax.

I've run into a complete conflict of interests in my life. I feel so at home and so comfortable and safe here at school. I am so happy taking my classes, reading my ancient literature, living day by day, studying and eating in Gwinn.

But I don't know what I'm doing with my life.

Plain and simple, this terrifies me to no end.

One of the very first questions anyone asks in college when first meeting you is, "What's your major?" With the answer of, "English, creative writing," what surely follows is, "Oh... What are you going to do with that?"

I don't know.

Please stop asking.

I just know that I'm doing what I love. I don't have some magic career in mind that will keep me off the streets.

I live with two conflicting perspectives: that of eternity, and that of everyday. But I'm not planning out my future. And while I feel this is the correct mindset to have, to leave everything wide open for God to act, it scares me none the less.

Can I believe without fear? Does a lack of courage discount my faith at all?

With pressure on all sides to find a future vocation, know my place in the world, be ready to set out and change everything, I feel myself slowly shrinking. You have lofty goals. You know exactly what you want to do and where you want to do it. You know who you're going to marry.

I know... what I'm doing this afternoon. A bit of what'll happen next week. That's all.

I've seen God, though, take things in my life and turn them around. I've experienced being dead-set on a certain outcome and having God say, "No." But while I don't want to forge forward into an unknown future, I also do not want to sit by idly, waiting for something to happen. I know that God works through our actions.

It is this balance that I need of prayerfully asking about opportunities, taking tentative but strong steps forward, but always keeping my hands open for God to take the reins and lead to... anywhere.

Notes from last Sunday:

This is our life: we set out following a plan, and things change.

How do you find a path that leaves room for the Holy Spirit's intervention? How do you plan, but be open?

We must learn to lean into our desires, praying for discernment as to what we should hold onto and what we should let go of.

We think we know what God wants for us, but then we're forbidden by the Holy Spirit. This is the Christian life for you: there is always a little bit of uncertainty.

I want to be the one place where He wants me to be.

And notes from today:

How can I offer you Christ as the answer? By knowing your question. By learning your culture.

Our witness doesn't begin with a chasm of difference, but with finding a bridge, with building relationships, with love.

Are you going to step into God's story or stay in your own?

Today I will stop waiting and begin to live.

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