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Cheesy reflections

I have been thinking about my place in life lately and am coming more and more to the realization that I am living a pretty extraordinary life.

The first and foremost reason for this at the moment is that I am about to move to a pretty remarkable place to get paid to do things that I love to do. And I don't mean just getting paid, but I'm actually being given a decent living to hang out with college students. Now, this is not about the pay that I'm getting, it's about the fact that I'm actually being allowed the opportunity to do exactly the kinds of things that I love to do, and actually make a career of it. I would say that this is a kind of life that most people do not have the luxury of living, so I never want to take this for granted or ever feel entitled to it. This is a privilege that I want to use well and wisely since it has been given to me.

It has certainly not been easy to get to this point. Just deciding to pursue this path was difficult, because it was venturing into territory I never expected to get into nor did I feel confident in my abilities to do this for real. It was (and still is) an unpredictable path to take that largely took circumstances and control out of my hands and placed them firmly into God's. It brought about a lot of questions from security-minded people around me that were difficult or impossible to answer because I had to give up the idea of control.

Now, something that I hope is clear by the way that I live is that I'm not interested in campus ministry because it is possible to have a career in it. I figure that I will be working in campus ministry no matter what, because God has revealed it to be an insanely important mission in the world. Internally, I agonize over those who get into campus ministry simply because it is a job that will pay them. Unfortunately, I encounter all too many of these, especially in my Graduate School of Theology world. There are too many campus ministers who wouldn't have given campus ministry a second thought had it not been a job opening somewhere. Fortunately, some of these grow into it, but many in this situation do not last very long.

God has really shaped me in campus ministry to this point. Starting at University of Oklahoma, then University of Alabama, then Tulsa (for a little bit), then Abilene Christian University, and now onto Kansas State University. All of these have been very different from each other and have shaped a huge picture of campus ministry in my mind. I have taken away incredible experience from each of these that I hope can play important parts in Kansas. Each of these places has taught me things that I now consider indispensable. I have succeeded and failed at different things in each of these circumstances, all of which has taught me that much more. I know that this will be no different in Kansas. There will be tremendously high experiences and incredible successes, and there will be hard disappointments. But all of it will work together to engage the mission of campus ministry at KState all the more.

Now, one reality I have not let myself think about a whole lot yet is leaving Abilene. Once again I find myself at a place in life where I have become part of a community that means everything to me. There was certainly a day when I would not have minded seeing Abilene in my rearview mirror. But I decided to change my attitude about that, upon which God really opened my eyes to the opportunity here. I have a network of friends that have supported me and been by my side at every step. I have a faith community that has impacted me in big ways. God has put me into the middle of a powerful campus ministry that has served me and let me serve, and a church that has really been Jesus is so many ways. I just hope that my investment in other people can be half of what they have been to me. I am happy that Abilene has been what it has been.

So, with that I wrap up this adventurous little chapter of life and look into the next. Who knows what will happen from here. It has been exciting and unpredictable, and I figure there will be no end to that. Although I've had a ten thousand experiences so far, I know that I'm still just getting out of the starting gate - in both life and career.

Life is good. Praise God for that.


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Blogger Kristy - 6:02 AM

I like that you are going to somewhere that I have been. It makes it easier for me to picture you there... I love their Chipolte (sp) restaurant, and the "smalltown"--"downtown" atmosphere. I got lost on a LONG run there, so I remember the way home all too well. Keep me updated on things. Praying for you!    



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