Day 4 on our journey...Journey, that seems to be the focus of today. Where am I on this "journey"? Where am I headed? Where will I end up 20 years from now? Where will I end up a week from now?
These are all questions I seemed to continue pondering as the day went on. I pondered these as we went to lunch with faculty members and listened to some of their stories and where they have been (most over many years), while sitting in on classes and being able to understand the material (thanks to my Theology professors who have done a great job so far), as we were informed on what PTS has to offer in spiritual formation and field education, as we walked through downtown Princeton and just enjoyed being away from HC. I pondered them as I considered being away from friends, family, while instead I have been here with people who are on a similar journey.
I have been around people asking the same questions I have raised over the last year and a half (really a lot longer, but seriously pondering them more over the last year and a half). Where is God calling me in my life? Is God calling me to PTS? Is God calling me elsewhere? Is God even calling me to seminary? Is God even calling me in the ways I think God is calling?
Do I have answers to all of these questions? No, of course not...I'm only a sophomore for crying out loud ;D...but does that keep me from seeking God with all of my heart? Does that keep me from constantly seeking God in the small things in life? Does that keep me from living a life that helps me to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ? Does that mean that I should stop listening for God and start living like a "college student'?
No, what it means is that I am ever more aware of the work God is doing through me, more aware of the ways in which I can see Christ in my everyday life, and more aware of the ways the Holy Spirit can and does work through the things I say and do.
Some of the questions have been answered this week...I can definitely say my sense of "call" is affirmed more and more each day. The more I reflect on it, the more I pray about it, the more I talk about it, the more excited I get about the future God holds for my life. What is that going to look like exactly? I have no idea, but I'm okay with that, I'm excited for it to be a true journey. I'm excited to be lead by the Shepherd on this journey. I'm excited to continue my studies at Hanover, to continue being active within the church, to continue preaching the gospel, to continue to show love to those who are unloved, to do what I can to build relationships and help those in need, and I am excited to continue seeking God with all that I am. In the end it doesn't matter what PTS(or any seminary), Hanover, my parents, my Grandma's, my brother, or my friends think about what I am doing, in the end I have to ask myself am I honestly seeking the will of God, am I honestly stopping to listen?
As I challenge myself to continue to stop, listen, and reflect, I continue to see the face of Christ in the people I encounter, the people who love me, the people who support me, in the people who don't. I continue to see God in the the 2 feet of snow, in all nature, in the hymns, in the psalms, in the scriptures, in the friendships, in everything. I am always amazed at the places we see God, when we just stop and look, the places we hear God when we stop and listen, and the places we reflect Christ when we do things in love (1 Cor. 13 kind of love).
This week has been awesome for me, I am thankful that we made the trip, that we arrived safely, and that I leave here different than I came. For those of you who have been around me the last couple of weeks, if you thought I was happy then...I'm even happier now (lets hope a two day journey back to Hanover with Rosa doesn't spoil it ;D just kidding), I'm renewed and ready to continue on this road. I'm ready to continue walking through the doors that open up for me.
In a way I'm sad to leave, this week has been amazing, but at the same time I miss Hanover. I miss my sisters, I miss my classmates, I miss being in classes, I miss the chapel community, I miss my job (yep Doug that was your shout out), and if we were here long enough I would miss my church. Just a small reminder from Brandon Heath that "God's not finished with me yet" God is still working through all of those things, and one day I will be somewhere like this place. And that my friends...is exciting.
Well, tomorrow is another day...and tomorrow will be the day I head back, renewed and ready to continue serving the Lord I love, ready to live in response to the call I preached about a month ago...ready to continue denying myself, taking up my cross, and following Christ. Thanks be to God for the ability and willingness to do so. Thanks be to God for being the endless well of living water that fills us, renews us, and gives us fresh new life each and everyday.
May the Peace of Christ Be With You All,