A gale arose on the lake, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. Matthew 8:24-26
Yea! It’s raining again! Okay, scratch the yea part. So far this year has been nothing but one big giant tease. One day spring will be like, ‘okay, let’s go for it,’ and then the next day it’s like, ‘nope, just kidding…lol really had you going there!’ I don’t know if it’s reflective of my inner world, or vice versa, but I do know that every day I feel myself to be like spring 2014, poised right on the brink of some major blooming, and then every night I sigh and go to bed wondering if perhaps tomorrow will be the day. Do caterpillars go through this inner turmoil I wonder? Transitions are like that though, tumultuous and maddening. Of course later on after the dust has settled, you can look back and it all makes perfect sense; but until that day arrives, life can be pretty unsettling.
Graduation happens in May! After four years of feeling some semblance of stability, now I feel as though I am looking at all light and no outline. The door is wide open; the light is pouring in; I feel like I’m going blind and I can’t even begin to see what is out there. I still clearly remember my call to ministry and feeling as though I was stepping off a cliff when I said yes. But the difference between then and now is that I was fairly certain that I knew what would happen next – or at least I thought I did. I knew that I would spend the next 3 to 4 years in seminary and that by then things would be more clearly defined. I guess we tell ourselves these little stories just so we can muster up the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Now I don’t even have any little stories to tell myself. I have no job, no money and I live in my mother’s basement. Seminary has stripped me down to just a tiny little human with no worldly goods, no tokens of esteem and no symbols of success. I have nothing to offer anyone but focused attention and unfailing love. In the eyes of the world I might be a complete and utter failure, but ironically enough, this is the best me that anyone could ever hope for because nothing stands in the way between myself and my neighbor.
I read something recently about how accepting one’s call to ministry is like agreeing to a voyage in a rudderless boat. We have to learn how to relinquish our need for control and certainty of our destination. This is subversive to everything that I have learned throughout my life, but it is what lies at the heart of true faith. It is surprisingly easy to talk about the lilies of the field in church and then go home and start making to do lists, but in a rudderless boat there is nothing but the wind and the waves guiding you along. And suddenly you begin to know, not understand, but know, deep in your heart, that God is watching over you and guiding you. God is the wind and the waves and the rudderless boat, carrying you to that next great horizon.