Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I thrive on change. In fact, I practically can't live without it. After three or four months in one place, some small, but exuberant part of my brain starts screaming its boredom, and something must change. I didn't think any amount of change could phase me. A veteran of seven study-abroad experiences in four continents, I thought I had sailed safely through every storm. I was dead wrong.

This is my last year at college. I'm a senior. Yes, there are many of us; and yes, many, many more have been in the same situation that I have been in. Somehow that doesn't ease my mind. Change is imminent; I should be ecstatic; instead I'm terrified. I'm blessed to know exactly what I want to do with my life; to have experienced that elusive and often-misinterpreted sense of "calling" that both leads to intense joy, and often intense frustration. In short, I am not in the precarious position that most seniors face: that of not knowing the next step. My path is all too clear: seminary, ordination, service.

The certainty of my trajectory is what causes the apprehension I feel. Until this period of my life, my options were endless. I could do anything, become anything. As I near adulthood (true adulthood), I have noticed my horizons slowly narrowing as key decisions are made. What were once exciting opportunities are becoming certainties. With each step, the excitement of choice, of possibility, is wiped away. At the same time, new, far more fear-producing worries crop up, performance worries. Can I do this? Can I sustain this level of interest? Am I a capable leader? Am I a capable Christian? If I'm not, what then?

In Morocco and then Niger, I became used to using the phrase "insha' allah", or "God willing" after every statement of intention. It has stuck in my mind since then, a small reminder that God watches over us, directs us, and loves us. God is the ever-present guide, strengthening us for what lies ahead and instructing us in the ways to go forward. What better guide is there than an omnipresent, omniscient, ever-loving spiritual being?

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