The flow of the river took me to chapel this week. Chapel is a ‘requirement’ for most students enrolled at George Fox University, including older transfer students in my case. So this is where I was on Tuesday morning after a prodigious “Western Civilizations” exam. I have to be honest; I don’t generally look forward to chapel—mostly because of all the school work I already lack the time to do. Nevertheless, it’s also true that once I am there, I am glad I went. I am not sure what I was expecting this last Tuesday, but I wasn’t expecting this week’s message. It kind of blind-sided me for several reasons.
The first reason being, the speaker, Allie Vesterfelt, was introduced as a published author. Interesting. An author as a chapel speaker? Not a pastor or affiliated with some kind of ministry? Nevertheless, the aspiring writer in me perked up; I got out a piece of paper and a pen so I could take notes.
In speaking, Allie soon discloses that she did her graduate work in education (at G.F.U.). Education was my end major when I went to school so many, many years ago. Another immediate connection; I am relating closely to what she says. Where will she go with this?
Then her topic. She is going to speak on, “Misconceptions about What a Calling Is.” She approaches this topic by describing three things a ‘calling’ is not. She asserts a ‘calling’ is not: (1) complicated and mysterious; nor is it (2) something that happens to you someday; and finally, it is not (3) a destination, title, position, place or any other ‘end’ we might mistakenly believe we need to attain.
‘Calling’ is actually something I have been trying to figure out, again, as I am at another major transition time in my life. I’m done mom-ing and homeschooling and I have been thinking, my next step needs to be to help pay off weddings and other debts. Right? “Of course right!” (Fiddler on the Roof, for those of you who don’t quote movies like my family does). But maybe not in the way I have been imagining and holding on to.
Allie’s words both jar and resonate. I don’t even notice the fact my walk has been different than hers in regard to education, but I realize I would have disagreed with her at some point in my recent past about other things she is saying, and I am adding things in my mind I think she has left off. Yet meanwhile, what she is saying is so close to the answers God has been giving me for the last year or so of my life through prayer, scripture and circumstances (open and closed doors, just as I have requested in prayer, because I can be so obtuse) – I see I need to decide whether or not I am finally going to accept God’s leading and blessing in my life or let doubts and false expectations remain to take away my joy.
The cherry on top. In “Writing 200,” we have been studying and analyzing the writing process with a focus on different writers. As part of her final point, Allie inadvertently gives us a glimpse of her own writing process. Don’t you love how the Lord enhances His life curriculum for us if we let Him? I do!