Thursday, October 28, 2010

Musings on a Calling

So this is what I worked for over the span of four years during my graduate studies at Columbia Theological Seminary? This is why I slaved and fretted over ordination exams and MCA’s and CPM paperwork? This is why I juggle two jobs, three sons, and an exponential number of schedules from mid-August to mid-May? To dress up as a witch and go Trick-or-Treating at age 44? To spend a weekend away from my family with 50+ folks (most of whom I don’t know) who hover unpredictably & precariously between adolescence and adulthood? To schlep dinner for twelve up two flights of stairs in the Glenn Education Building and listen to the highs and lows of a very high and low bunch of folks…every week? To plan activities and opportunities for worship, study, or service never knowing who, if anyone, will show up? To work to drum up enough financial support to get us through each year, and to never be sure from one year to the next if the funds will be granted for my own salary? To pay through the nose for parking at Emory, only to walk another “fer piece” to my on-campus office (which is up the aforementioned two flights of stairs, I might add…)? To pick up the tab for anywhere from two to twelve people at Yogurt Tap, Willy’s, Panera, or ChocoLate at any given moment?

You bet it’s what I worked for. It’s why I sat not once (for polity and worship and sacraments), not twice (for polity, theology, and exegesis), but three (for polity alone) times. (Notice a pattern here? Damn you, polity ord!) It’s why I juggle the many aspects of my life so that I can be pastor (and yes, sometimes mother, sometimes sister, sometimes friend) to a group of the greatest young people that I know. To walk with these students on this journey we call life for these precious four years is a gift and a blessing. They challenge me. They support me. They laugh with me…and at me. They are wonderful and amazing. They are inquisitive, they are faithful, and they are committed to finding and following God’s call on their lives. They are respectful of each other, yet hold each other accountable when needed. They are the future. And I promise you, despite all the things that point to the contrary, they will be ready and capable when it’s time to step up to the proverbial plate. Yes they’re still being formed—and there are days when I am grateful that God’s not done with ‘em yet, for sure--but then again, aren’t we all a beautiful, wonderful, work in progress?

Thank you God for calling me to this work of Christian formation. And thank you for the daily reminders that it is all of us—not just our children, youth, and young adults—whom you are forming, shaping, molding to be/come the people you have called us to be.