Friday, September 01, 2006

The Wisdom and Insanity of Age

I used to be 23.

That was the year I started seminary. This was a goal, a dream, toward which I had worked for 7 years by then. Finally getting there was good, no, great, but required big changes. I had to leave my community, my friends and family, my job--yet another identity crisis. But, when I arrived there, I felt a peace I had never felt before, or since.

Sure, I enjoyed the studying, the new friends, the shared interest in faith and theology. We talked about "call" and "discernment"--what and who did God want us to be, and how were we to get from here to there? At 23, we weren't sure, but it all seemed possible, even said so in the Bible. (Luke 1:37)

Well, now I'm graduated, ordained, called and re-called, and find myself with the same questions at 40. Who and what does God want me to be? Am I called to something, or do I just do what I "feel like"? I still believe in all the mystery and excitement that got me to seminary, but I was hoping, by this time in life, to have more answers and fewer questions, a more solid sense of identity. Sigh.

Some of you know I'm a control freak. I suspect in these times of wondering, God is trying to remind me that She knows what She's doing, and She doesn't have to tell me if She doesn't want to (I suppose that's one definition of "God"). And so, I will continue to pray for the confidence and excitement that accompanied all those questions at 23, to replace the anxiety and grief that creep in so readily at 40. Thank you for being 20-something for me, my friends who are in that category; I need to rejoice in your youth. It was in the midst of such fun and frenzy that I first answered and followed that call, which led me to you and your questions. For that I am ever grateful.

2 Comments:

At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Hope said...

I love PL. And I love PL time even more. I realized the other night just how badly I miss you... I cried for quite awhile. Then I realized, it doesn't have to be that way. We live 30 minutes apart. I think part of me grieved what we had during that wonderful time at TLU. Knowing that it can never be quite like that again makes me sad. But I can still see you. I'll be needing some PL time soon. Love ya, woman.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Jason said...

"Thank you for being 20-something for me, my friends who are in that category; I need to rejoice in your youth. It was in the midst of such fun and frenzy that I first answered and followed that call, which led me to you and your questions. For that I am ever grateful."

Oh, it's us that are truly grateful, for we have been able to share with you our own hopes and fears, and to realize that you understand better than most where we are coming from.

The beauty of a community struggling to know what God requires of them. That was what I experienced in college, and what I've continued to experience so far in seminary. And for that, I thank you.

 

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