Monday, August 8, 2011

Fight or Flight

"Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women,"
Acts 5:12-14

I'm about to enter my third and final year at Duke Divinity. In the past 700 or so days, I've learned that this whole thing I've gotten into is a lot more difficult than I had expected. Yes, I've struggled with my own personal problems of faith and living during my time at Duke, but I think the thing that is most daunting is imagining what is to come when I leave the confines of the divinity school...

As graduation is less than a year away now, I'm starting to get questions about what I'm going to do when I am finished. This is a tough question to answer, but one that needs to be asked nonetheless. I'm aware of how much I've changed in the past two years, and how that has changed the way I will serve when the time comes (hopefully not too long after May 2012). I wonder about my ability to serve in a way that I understand to be faithful, loving, and formative. Honestly, the thought of doing all that scares me because I'm not sure I can or will.

This may sound a little odd. Wouldn't that be the goal of all clergy/church staff? I should certainly hope so. But my concern is in really doing those things as I understand all situations and contexts. It could cause problems. And I'm afraid it's just going to be too hard. This clip from A League of Their Own captures what I'm feeling: [fair warning: there's a 4-letter word]

The passage above immediately follows the story of Ananias and Sapphira... a story that suggests to me how serious this whole following Christ thing is. People were in awe of the apostles, and hesitated to join in the ranks, never mind count themselves among the apostles- the leaders of the church. And so I feel even more hesitant. Overwhelmed. Unprepared.

But I find hope in the words of Jimmy (Tom Hanks) when I apply them to my understanding of my vocation, or job. Ministry is what gets inside me. It lights me up. It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it (again, the Acts passage). The hard is what makes it great.

So I'll keep moving, even when it seems too daunting a task. Your move, friends.