This weekend, I must have driven up and down the peninsula 2 or 3 times to see friends… 101 has become a companion to the endless driving I do here, up and down, up and down…
Life has been busy up here. This transition has been one of the most violent shifts in my life since moving to North County at the beginning of my staff career. And transition it has been… I’ve had to shift geographic areas, I’ve shifted into an entirely new team and, just to top it off (because I figured I needed MORE transition), I’ve shifted into a new role with supervisory and director responsibilities.
The first 3 months have proven to be one steep learning curve… although it’s felt more like a steep 90 degrees than a curve. It’s taken me a while to get used to it all. The work is different- I’m at the desk a lot more, behind the scenes. It forces me to put my super-stardom down for a little and allow others to flourish- my need to be seen has not shown itself this blatantly in a while. I have to lead staff- and really, they are wonderful… but wow, it’s revealed how hard I was to lead in my first 7 years on staff. I think I’ve already sent a few emails thanking my last supervisor for all the grace he had on me. And the scope… it’s huge. 13 community colleges. 149,000 students. Only 2 of these campuses have a stable InterVarsity witnessing community.
As I drove up and down Highway 101 this weekend, and the dust settled in my head- this job is so much bigger than me. I may have been quite the awesome staff for MiraCosta and Palomar… but dang. It’s going to take a lot more than my “gifts” to reach these campuses.
It came to my mind that as I drove up and down the peninsula, I had driven past maybe 4-5 community colleges that are in my area… and that’s barely even half of our area. I thought in despair- “Lord, what can I do? I feel so limited. I’ve done so little so far. Can You really breath life into these campuses?” I felt like Ezekiel in his vision where he saw a valley of dry bones that represented the nation of Israel- just dead, dry dreams that have no hope of life. And I’ve just let those bones sit there- I haven’t painted in 4-5 months, I’ve stopped imagining, I’ve stopped daring to believe that a better world was possible, because a better world seemed too far for my humanity to touch.
But as I reflected on the vastness of the territory before me and the impossibility of this mission… I remembered the second half- where Ezekiel called out for the breath of the Lord to come and fill these dry bones and bring them to life. I remembered that we cannot see these 13 campuses- Skyline, College of San Mateo, Cañada, Foothill, De Anza, West Valley, Mission, San Jose City, Evergreen, Cabrillo, Gavalan, Monterey Peninsula and Hartnell colleges… and even the 4 year institutions of Stanford, UCSC, SCU and CSU Monterey- roar to life by my meager strength… those campuses need something bigger, with more love, with more hope, with more strength than any human being has.
…and I perhaps had the most productive 2 minutes of work so far for the last 3 months, as I prayed, “…Holy Spirit, come and fill these campuses.”
Let Your kingdom come- at the college campuses as it is in heaven.