My funding has been coming in quite well. If all goes well, I should be starting next week.
This month has been… interesting. In the beginning of the month, I was reading Henri Nouwen’s chapter on patience from his book “Compassion”. It cut straight to the heart of things. I was very convicted that I don’t practice patience in doing things. I don’t wait on the Lord many times before I just jump into ministry. I hate waiting. I want to keep moving. The truth is, I could have been on campus much earlier. This is very complicated, I won’t explain how this happened, but basically I had a choice to be at 80 percent in the beginning of the month through a very easy avenue. If i’m at 80 percent, I am allowed to go onto campus. But something told me- No, wait. It was a very strange thing. I really wanted to be on campus. I was getting restless at home. I wanted to finally be productive. My staff team has been waiting for me to get onto campus. But then God seriously convicted me that I need to be patient. If I took the easy path, I’d be trusting the easy path instead of God. Also, I can’t be running onto campus with aspirations that I will completely save the entire campus of MiraCosta college. Those types of aspirations will destroy oneself. This past month has been God challenging me that I am actually not needed in His ministry. Okay, so that’s really self-deprecating, and perhaps too sweeping. But it’s true. If anything, I will get in the way of God’s work if I feel like I myself am the catalyst to “revival”. God is the one that will bring His kingdom, not me. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that we never really do anything when God works- the highest reward is not knowing you’ve done some achievement for God, but that you were there to witness God do something.
I have to know that I am there because of God’s grace. I realize that as I step onto campus, every moment that I am there is God’s merciful gift to me. I did nothing to earn it. I am doing this for nobody but God and His Kingdom. The students, yes, but my utmost first for God. It always bugs me when people say that actually. I have this horrible suspicion that when somebody says that they value God over the people that they serve, that they are letting a horrible delusive abstraction of religion overshadow real people. And I’ve seen it so many times. But in theory, if one’s highest priority is God, he or she will begin to care for the things that God cares for, which is people.
You see, the thought that has been bouncing in my head is about how inner redemption must lead to the redemption of your context. Part of me really agrees with that- of course, any other way would be hypocritical. How can you set people free of dishonesty if you yourself cannot tell the truth? But then another part of me completely rejects it. This is a good thing in the beginning, but somehow it leads to a sort of spiritual atrophy in which one attempts to heal oneself of a little cut and use it as an excuse not to help the person next to them dying from AIDS.
So this is where I am at. I have grown slightly restless from being patient. I think my season of patience is coming to an end. I think it’s time to pounce into the fray. Sometimes I wonder if that was what Jesus was feeling near the end of his 40 days in the desert. Like- great, I’m resisting temptation and I’m being prepared, but enough preparation! There’s a world to save! But I don’t know if He was really that impatient. He has all eternity I suppose. And I certainly can’t save the world. Perhaps dent it at best.
I’ve been juggling with finding that synergistic point in which contemplation and patience leads to the greatest and most effective action, which leads to deeper contemplation and patience, which leads to even more effective action… and so on. The thought was spurred on me when I glanced at a person’s credentials, and that he worked at the “Center for Action and Contemplation”. Such a radical oxymoron.
Perhaps these moments of patience are not just sitting around watching the T.V. But it’s more like the storing of potential energy. It’s like a spring being pulled back. It’s like the runner stretching before he steps into the blocks.
And so I am to soon begin. I think the time for waiting is coming to a close. I can feel it. The muscles in my legs are tensed and ready to go. I’ve been training for this leg of the journey, and the race’s start is eminent. Part of me is scared that I have been training too long and won’t remember what it means to actually do ministry instead of prepare for it, but heck, there’s only one way to find out.
The safety is pulled back. Back is arched. And explosion from the barrel, but it seems like the noise comes from the exhilaration that I am running once again in the race I am called to.
“…And when I run, I feel His pleasure”