Monday, December 25, 2006

Doing Something

Yesterday in church, we read the story in Luke, where the angel appears to Mary. I started thinking about the fact that Mary is always portrayed as sitting alone quietly when the angel appears. I turned back to the passage, and it doesn't say what she was doing... so I started wondering. She was probably doing housework or something, but I also wonder what she was thinking about at the time. Mary is always portrayed as this stoic, faithful woman who doesn't really wrestle with her destiny. That can't be the whole story. Did she have concerns about being married off to Joseph? Was she worried about the future? After the angel left, did she wonder if she imagined the whole thing? Did she ever resent God for putting her in such an... uncomfortable.... position?

I have been hoping that this trip would bring me some direction or clarity about my mission in the future. I came here excited to learn about the culture and the ministries; to see what reconciliation looks like. But as I've been experiencing all of this, even more questions have been stirred up. I am still annoyed that I'm not sure which degree to pursue and how my ministry will look in the long-term. I have all these ideas and thoughts and things that God has laid on my heart, and I'm tired of constantly wondering how the pieces will fall into place. I want to do something to figure it out.

I have been spending time with great friends from Camp. I've been seeing some of their ministries, spending time with them, and talking a bit about ministry, life, etc. As it turns out, none of them are too sure either. Kate is teaching (and loves it) but doesn't know if she can see herself doing that forever. Santie is in the midst of major 20's life decisions about ministry and how marriage will affect it. Gerhard is studying something involving many words, some of them being "electrical," "engineer," and "computer" but doesn't think he'll end up doing that as a career. Vaughn is a youth pastor, and is about to start studying theology, and then he'll get a masters in business in America... he thinks.

Thank God I'm not the only one.

The common thread in all these conversations (besides the quarter-life crisis potential) is the phrase "God has a plan..." That brings me back to Mary, because it also occurred to me that Mary didn't have to do anything to bear God's son. Whatever she was doing when the angel appeared, she wasn't doing it in anticipation of that event. Jesus's conception was the work of the Holy Spirit, and it was an interruption to whatever she was doing. So in other words, I can try all I want to plan and project, but God is going to let me in on the plan when God darn well pleases. I hate that.

I do draw some comfort from the fact that most of my friends are in the same boat, and we are able to encourage and learn from each other. And at least we are having fun and doing awesome things (like going to Africa), and serving God. And singing Camp song in the back of Vaughn's Dad's truck. (see below)

Lindahl, Me, Kate, Kyle, Vaughn, Gerhard


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