The anticipation is killing me.
For the last three weeks, I’ve essentially done nothing. Because painting the bedroom yellow and making five cross-stitch bookmarks definitely don’t garner productivity points.
The reason I’ve done nothing for the last three weeks is because any minute now, something is going to happen that will set in motion, at the very least, several months’ worth of effort. What we’re waiting for here is word from Seminary #1 about my admissions status.
Awash in overconfidence, I only applied to one seminary this year. If Seminary #1 rejects me, I have to hit the pavement to find a job to tide me over until next fall – assuming one of the “also ran” seminaries will have me. If Seminary #1 accepts me, I have to haul ass to get the painting in our house done before graduate school eats up every last ounce of motivation for the next three years.
So…waiting. I decided to take this as an opportunity for spiritual maturation. And what “spiritual maturation” means, apparently, is eating a lot of leftover Halloween candy and not getting out of my pajamas for days on end.
This morning, I decided to take the high road. I took a shower before 4:30 in the afternoon. I wore real clothes. I ate real food for breakfast. And I sat in my little sacred space on the landing in our living room and considered the comfort and provisions of God.
Okay, a spiritually mature set of considerations – just for argument’s sake – would look something like this:
- Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)
- In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. (Deuteronomy 32:10-11)
- Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7:16-17)
- Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil for thou art with me. (Psalm 23:4)
Yes, well. MY considerations were significantly less God-focused and way more moi-focused. Case in point. This morning, I began with comforting rationalizations. Of COURSE, they’ll pick me. I have a 4.0 GPA from three different universities. My resume is brilliant and my references are sterling. I’ve already written TWO books, for cripes sake! Of COURSE, they’ll pick me. Confident in the groundwork I’ve laid, I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about.
Except I did keep worrying. So I opted for a little backup planning. Ditched the sacred space and got online where I began looking into other seminaries. Ah! There’s one that looks promising. Local, ecumenical, and I’d only have to live out of state for a YEAR. Great, okay, so, Plan B’s in place and there’s nothing to worry about.
It’s just that…that didn’t make me feel better. Alright then, how about some hard bargaining? I’ll go anywhere, God, I’ll do anything, just PLEASE let me get into Seminary #1! There, now I’ve shown God that I can be reasonable and there’s nothing to worry about.
About this time, I descended into idolatry and hit the Halloween candy face first.
Later today, I noticed the moon coming up in the east. A lovely waxing gibbous, about three days away from full I’d say. Well, my ex-pagan alter ego chimed in cheerfully, “THAT’S why you don’t have an answer yet. You’ve sown in the Maiden moon and you’ll reap in the Mother. Ah! The timing of the Wheel – THAT explains it! Now there’s nothing to worry about.”
The thing is, there actually MAY be nothing to worry about. And, after all, Jesus said that worrying about anything won’t add a cubit to my span, whatever the hell that means. So why am I sweating this so much?
I think it’s because it’s so damned easy to turn to my idols for comfort – achievement, plans, good intentions, and worldly knowledge. But these idols are cold comfort. What are past achievements when the future’s what you’re afraid of? What good are plans if you don’t know what you’re planning for? The road to hell has always been paved with good intentions and the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God.
On the high road to ministry and I’m defaulting to Butterfinger and Snickers. Ooh, look. There’s a Tootsie Roll. There’s nothing to worry about.
© Marian the Seminarian, 2011