Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My New Reality

Today marks the start of orientation at my seminary.  Since I work in Admissions as my work study job, we've been busy preparing for this day for the last couple of weeks, and even before.  It has been such a joy to see the new students coming in, to match faces with names that I recognize from my various duties.  Their presence energizes me for the busy year ahead.

This year I will be splitting my time between classes, work in Admissions and a field placement site as a chaplain at a continuing care facility.  I will be busy, but I work well with busy.  It's when I have very little to do that I get very little done.  This year I know that I will have to rely on God more than ever before to get me through all the challenges of time management, social life, and requirements for my classes and for commissioning.

The reality of my calling inches ever nearer.  This summer I worked at a United Methodist Church in Peoria, IL.  The highlight of my time there was preaching at a service called "Loaves & Fish" which was part of a soup kitchen ministry within the church.  I was so nervous the first time.  I was worried that I wouldn't say anything worthwhile or that they would just check out.  However, I was wrong. I was amazed to see how God shows up in a powerful way.  Not because of me, but through me and through the people in the room.  That experience taught me that God will use you, that if God has put you in that position and you have faith - God will use you.

So as I step forward into this year, I am trusting that this is where God has put me.  This place, these people, these experiences are all part of the journey of my life and God will be there through it all.

My prayer for this year is to live out, as best as I am able through the power of the Holy Spirit, this prayer from St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console,
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.



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