This is a guest post by my friend and former student at Western Theological Seminary (www.westernsem.edu, @westernsem), Adam Lorenz. Here is how Adam describes himself:
Adam Lorenz is a mut of the Church currently looking to find a home. If he had to paint himself into a corner you could label him as a Lutheran-Non-Denom-Baptist-Charismatic-Fundy-Progressive-Emergent-Reformed-Anglican. Social media type? Follow him at @adamlorenz or don’t.
An inspiring post. Enjoy.
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Though the sun had risen, I lay in my warm bed struggling to scan across the room because there was still not light enough to see. I dragged my feet to the living room, looked out the window only to see the unusual fog and rain on a January morning. My recent internal wrestling’s seemingly manifested themselves into the external reality this morning.
I am in the midst of the season most avoid talking about. I call this a season because I have lived just long enough to see my life change and evolve; yet that has done little to normalize or bring understanding to me. I am in that time of transition, of being in between stages of completion and new beginnings. Let me be completely honest, his understanding doesn’t make things any better if any thing my frustration grows.
I thought I was prepared for this. For the first time in my life I have felt the clarity of how I am wired and how that is connected to some vocation. I have fallen in love and have a partner who is committed to journeying with me, and I with her, for the long haul. I have applied and interviewed, been offered incredible possibilities yet knew they weren’t that next, right thing.
From deep in my core, I am haunted by the truth that I’m exactly where I need to be. I can sense that my life is moving forward but as I look out all I see is the fog and rain. It is hard to tell which direction things are heading. This uncertainty is often overwhelming, frustrating, confusing, and extremely discouraging.
I am scared.
Somehow I have come to believe the promise that if I remain to true my faith, true to that inkling and itch the Divine had placed on my heart, that somehow it all would work out the way it should. Or what I actually mean, the way I imagine it should.
Who forgot to tell me that a calling doesn’t mean the ideal or the dream? Job’s words have become my own, “I cry to you but you do not answer me; I stand, and you merely look at me.” At least that is how it feels as I sit in this vocational fog in search of meaning.
Sure, I could throw a youth pastor or two, my generation, culture, or my upbringing under the bus for this. But the reality is – no one actually ever promised that to me. It was certainly not from God. This was a promise I had come to believe in my youth, a belief that I has carried over into my adult years.
I am selfish enough to say that I have believed myself to be just enough a big deal that I have felt I deserve some thing for my loyalty – a clear path and straightforward journey seems all to fair a trade for the commitment of my faith. Yet each and every time I allow myself to believe that I perpetuate and give validity to a lie that masquerades as a promise.
What, then, is truly promised? That potential answer scares me the hell out of me because it means that could the fog might actually be ok, that more of my life might simply hold unknowns rather than certainties.
Wendell Berry wrote, “Faith is not necessarily, or not soon, a resting place. Faith puts you out on a wide river in a boat, in the fog, in the dark.”
So my faith, the thing that I thought would keep me from this type of known, is the very thing that I’ve have been given. It’s a promise but more so it’s an assurance from God that He is always in the midst of it all – with us, with me – even when it seems the most unclear.
Right now, I don’t like that promise. I find little rest and peace in that. It seems and feels trite. So I don’t know how things are going to turn out. I don’t believe anyone who says they do. I do know that my current place in life has nothing to do with any lack of faith. And I’m slowly learning to accept that.
So in the midst of this fog, I choose to join the many in proclaiming ‘Onward!’ to explore what is at hand and whatever is just ahead.