I've just graduated from Campbell Divinity School with a Master of Divinity degree. Receiving a theological education was a 20 year dream of mine and a 4 year commitment. Tonight, I was talking with my Aunt Janie who was one of several family members to join me for my weekend hooding ceremony and we talked for nearly 90 minutes! During the conversation, I told her of many of my most enlightening moments of Divinity School and how I had changed so much as a person and as a woman during these years. At one point in the conversation, I was telling her that even after 4 years, I wasn't entirely sure of where God would send me in ministry; however, I was certain of this one thing ... if he sends me to a church, I will be the best educated church staff member I could be, or if he sends me to the mission field, I am ready to be there, or, if he sends me back into a secular office, I will be the best employee and a cubicle will be my sanctuary, or if he sends me to be a neighbor, I will be the best neighbor ... whenever he calls ... "here I am, Lord, send me."
She quickly remembered something I told her about 20 years ago ... I had auditioned for a traveling Christian musical troupe and I didn't make it. Although I was disappointed, she reminded me that I said at that time, "It wasn't within God's plan for me to be a part of that group, it was only his desire for me to be WILLING TO GO."
When she told me this, I was struck with that memory. I hadn't thought of it in years and suddenly, it came to mind ... and I was moved to tears. Indeed. It was not God's plan for me to be in that particular group, but in the process of trying, I was building muscles of obedience. I was learning to be available. I was growing in wisdom and faith.
These past 4 years of Divinity School have certainly been a journey of openness and joy. I never knew how much these experiences would draw me closer to the heart of God ... and yet ... somehow, they have.
Thanks be to God.