Waiting on the World…at the DMV

Dear Sir, what’s your story?

I left the golden island for streets of gold.  I left the warm beach for cold concrete.  I left hopelessness for a chance at happiness.  I left empty pockets and took a chance with these empty hands.  Family?  I left a daughter and a little one on the way.  I came to make it.  I came to the land of dreams.  I came again and again just like you.  Your eye?  I didn’t want to ask.  Vision’s perfect – 20/20 times two.

Late Night Thoughts

Lately my sense of self is being redefined every day.  A few weeks ago someone asked me the scariest question ever: “are you in charge here?”  To my surprise the answer was yes!  I’ve been involved in Campus Ministry at my college for a couple of years and people keep telling me I’m a leader, but I don’t think I believed that until I was asked that question.

I used to look at upperclassmen and say wow they’re so cool and they obviously have it all together.  They’re leaders and everyone looks up to them.  This year I had came to the slow realization that I’m one of those upperclassmen now.  Let me tell you, that’s down right scary.  Freshmen look up to me.  I’m confident and smart and above all a leader.  In reality I’m shy and I have no idea what I want to do with my life.  People that I don’t even know are going to start recognizing me because they came to a club I’m the president of.  Or they’ll recognize my name from the Campus Ministry programs I run.

Then a whole other layer is added when I reveal that I spent two months this summer in Africa.  People actually told me that they would never see me the same again or that I was a hero. Something that seemed so natural to me made people think of me differently.

Little old shy me; a leader who’s brave and someone to look up to.  This idea blows my mind and even more than that I am awed at how God can truly use anyone to do His work.

Letting the hail fall

Natural disasters display God’s power like nothing else.  With all of our technology, nature is one thing that human beings are still powerless against.  I think this scares us the most because we love being in control.

Last night I witnessed my first hailstorm which was part of either a tornado or hurricane(we’re still not sure) that swept through the state.  My town was hit the hardest and it seems as though half the trees in the area have been struck down.  As I stood at the window watching the storm wreak havoc, fear and awe were struck into my heart.  There was nothing we could do but listen to the ding of hailstones as they battered our house and hope the old tree in our backyard didn’t come crashing down.  We stood in what we imagined to be a safe-haven and hoped that the angry would storm would not penetrate our four walls, which now seemed flimsy and insubstantial.

And as I stood in fear and awe it occurred to me that the storm was very much like the presence of God.  We cannot control God and it is utterly useless to fight against him.  He has awesome power but can also strike fear into our hearts. When God sends a hailstorm often all we can do is trust Him and let the hail fall.  Where we are powerless(literally and metaphorically), he is all powerful.

Liberation

I am emotionally numb; detached from the world.  I have to be or all the horrors and injustices I see would scar me personally.  Pondering too long creates a feeling of desolate helplessness with all the badness, violence and oppression in the world.  How can a person like me possibly make a difference?  I’m innocent and ignorant; I’ve never experienced anything like persecution or torture.  I’m crying out to God to give me some direction because I can’t save the world by myself.  I’m begging him to give me a personal mission. Take my measly life and lead me to that one child whose life I can change.  I don’t want to sit in class presentations anymore and hear about the plight of the poor.  I get it!!  Now let me go do something about it.

I look up and orange highlighter catches my eye.  It illuminates a sentence that reminds me: “We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing it.”

Prophets of a Future Not Our Own

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

~ Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero ~