Sunday, August 23, 2009

Going Without Knowing

Last week, I went to class for the first time with the IWU cohort meeting at the Varsity Club in Mishawaka. For the the first time in my now-winding academic career, I left a class and hated it. The class just seemed to soft. I had been hoping for some more substance. However, as I worked through the assignments this morning, I started to realize that maybe I didn't like it because it was out of my comfort zone. It was too different from other classes and programs. After completing the assignments, I'm starting to change my mind. The relatively simple assignments forced me to start writing some things down, and pieces of the larger puzzle are starting to come together. One item, though, left me feeling more than a little uncomfortable:

"List something you have always wanted to do."

So why did this part of the assignment bother me so much?

Well, the question has to do with dreams and aspirations.

I still remember as a youngster making "fertilizer" in a 5 gallon jug and trying to sell it. I also remember working out in the shop making birdhouses for gifts and to sell. In both of these cases, I dreamed of one day starting my own business. I also remember using the microphone of the old 8-track (yes, I remember those things) and preaching because I dreamed of being a pastor. My brothers can attest that they used to have to go to my school in the closet because I dreamed of being a teacher.

Over the last few years, my dream bank has diminished drastically.

Now, instead of dreaming, I too often find myself saying things are not possible.

However, by recognzing the deficiency, it is amazing how quickly the dreams start to come back:

Getting a Ph.D.
Studying piano (again)
Starting a scholarship fund
Writing a book
Teaching at the college level
Making a difference

Although extremely nervous about the upcoming job change, I am also excited by the opportunity for change. I'm not sure how it will play into any of these dreams but it certainly will be the start of a new adventure. (Of course, there are many new adventures to come in the next year.) I've already picked up some new books to read in preparation and anticipation for this change in jobs.

At class on Thursday, we read Hebrews 11:8-10:

8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (NKJV)

Abraham knew all about new adventures and the challenges that they evoke. I'm confident that he had fears and anxieties. However, he went by faith and vision. As John Maxwell points out, Abraham also went with confidence, hunger, and resolve.

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