Something about routine has a numbing effect on me. The daily rhythms of preparing for work, commuting, clacking keyboards, schedules, watching movies and going to bed have a way of lulling me into a sort of tunnel vision, where I forget bits and pieces of who I meant to be.
Still, it is nice to sit down at the old keyboard, fighting to make the emotions skipping around in my psyche translate clearly into written words. It gives shape to things I experience, and an object with shape is much easier to hold and process and use meaningfully.
Samantha and I now live in a non-Seminary apartment complex called Village Manor. It is a place full of life- seminary students, people on welfare, refugees from foreign countries, international students… the list goes on. Here, we are trying to figure out the most constructive way to wait for what God would bring to us.
Samantha is wonderfully active. She spends time with friends, teaches English to two Nepali refugee girls, participates in small groups and a reading group, and of course takes care of Isaiah. It is a joy to watch her flourish as a person. I like it when people call me up out of the blue, only to find out that they want to talk with my wife and not me!
Speaking of joy, Isaiah is a thrill every day. He gets smarter and quicker all the time, which is sometimes wonderful and sometimes scary! I find that even his growing capacity for deceit and stubbornness is highly amusing. Isaiah likes to climb in my lap for about three seconds, and then he wants to climb onto other stuff. He likes to play with toys, but LOVES to play with adult stuff, especially cell phones. He enjoys pulling wires out of their sockets, and biting his stuffed animals on the nose.
My favorite thing is when I wake up in the morning and start to walk down the hall; he hears the floorboards creak and starts to yell at/for me. “Da! Da Da! DADADADADADA!” As far as I can tell, this means, “Get over here right now and get me out of this crib!” It is fun to comply, even when it means changing a soggy diaper that smells of ammonia.
My goal of late has been to become a pastor while I wait to become a pastor. People can be hard for me, and I do not think having official position will solve that struggle. So, I have been trying to use what free time I have to develop the skills to be a shepherd for those I love and whom God has given me a place of influence with. This might mean listening when a friend is frustrated, pursuing a wandering heart, counseling someone in a new situation, or leading a group of people toward new perspectives. I find that I am terribly uncertain of myself when doing these things, but it is always wonderful to see how clearly the Word speaks to all, allowing me to ignore my weakness and point to Certainty.
It has also been a time of growing confidence for me. I find that I can be effective at work, consistent in relationships, and even sorta fun sometimes. Mind you, my struggles with a bleak outlook on life certainly have not gone away. But still, it is comforting that God keeps bringing challenges designed to show his ability to bring you along safely.
So as I look forward to yet another stage of life not doing what I long to do, my hope is that Christ will continue to show himself strong in my weakness, that I will be prepared for whatever is next, and that I will be faithful with what is now.