Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Step Back

I was a part of something last summer that was huge. It was something so much larger than myself that on days like today, something small triggers memories and how incredible that journey was sinks in a little more. It is something beyond articulation, beyond the pictures and slideshows and videos. It's even beyond the numbers or the thousands of dollars we raised.

I've seen this video a few times before, but when another rider posted it on Facebook tonight, I felt compelled to watch it again. Only this time, it left a pit in the bottom of my stomach. It left me thinking about how HUGE this was, about how this may have been the most incredible thing I have ever been a part of.

Tonight, that feels like a bigger statement than ever before. This week, I have been reminded countless times (both by my own reflections and by others) what a blessed life I lead, and how incredible it is that I have been able to do and be a part of so many different things. I absolutely love my life, and I know I am blessed to be living this life and feel called to live this life. A life of love and ministry and travel and full of opportunities to worship a God so big and so great that God makes all of the huge, incredible things of my life, seem so small...

As I sit tonight reading a book on Eschatology for a paper I need to write, I am simultaneously working on the many questions I need to answer for commissioning as an elder in The UMC (commissioning is the next step toward ordination). I am tossing around all of these things and making lists of everything I need to do... I am constantly thinking about my future and what it holds as my graduation is now only 4 months (128 days) away.

Something occured to me tonight that I have never even considered before (nor do I want to!): with every incredible and "unbeatable" experience I have so early in life, am I setting myself up for disappointments of slowing adventures in the future? Now, there are a lot of reasons I do not like that this came up. First - how devastating! But more importantly -that's nonsense! I have been able to be a part of incredible things, yes. BUT - no two have ever been alike, and each thing has brought with it incredible people and relationships that teach me new things and encourage me with new insight and passions! That, I am absolutely certain, will never change!

Besides that, I also think it is important to consider that my life will only ever be as adventurous as I allow it to be. If I wanted to stop seeking adventure, stop seeking a deeper, unique and more meaningful way to serve God, then I could. I could back down and take an "easier" path that I have no doubt my mother would prefer. But what fun is that when I know God has blessed me with the passion, energy, excitement and determination to always take the extra step!?

So I go. Sometimes, I go too much. Like now... when I've only been back in the US for 12 days, and I have only 12 days until I must be ready for my next adventure (a mission trip to Costa Rica). Sure, there are sacrifices I make to do these things. Like the fact that I'm even still up right now: there is not actually enough time to get everything done, so extensions and last-minute work have at times become the norm. (In good procrastinator style, my goal is to keep up on my work next semester - my LAST semester! - so the last few weeks are not so crazy... wish me luck!)

I suppose all of this is simply to say, "whoa!" It is good to step outside myself once in a while and reflect on this crazy life I lead. I hope I never settle for anything less than what feeds me in this way . and I cannot wait to see what is in store for my life next.


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