Friday, September 28, 2007

Out of Myself into God

Well, I guess the good news is, we didn't need any retrofitting to survive this morning's little temblor. :)

Yesterday, I had a very heavy heart. And though I had (and still have) a pressing amount of work to do, I found it was nearly impossible to get the focus I needed to get anything accomplished.

I came home in the afternoon to spend some time with my family before having to head out again for class in the evening. There was a peaceful moment of watching Monk hit baseballs - enjoying the way he is clearly living out great scenarios of world series success with every hit. He throws his arms in the air and begins his trot around the imaginary bases.

Things got a little worse for me when a tooth in the back of my mouth came apart. Or maybe it was the filling that fell out. It's hard to tell because it was one of those composite, tooth-colored fillings. I only had it filled in August, but I don't think it was ever done correctly. It had never stopped hurting since then. Turns out the dentist can't fit me in until Wednesday of next week. A week with a hunk of tooth missing? How is it I never had any teeth trouble until I started to go to the dentist?

So between my heavy heart and my teeth woes, I really had to drag myself off to class in the evening. We had invited a guest speaker, a young Pentecostal pastor, who was there to talk about his theology of and approach to preaching. He did a fantastic job. It was thrilling to hear him. And this was the great thing: midway through the class I realized I hadn't thought about myself since things had started. I had been able to get caught up in the content, engaged with the speaker and the students, and focused again on things that bring me joy.

After the evening was over, I was deeply thankful for the opportunity that I find myself living into: to live out my call in teaching, to participate in something larger than me, that draws me out of myself and into a sense of God's mystery and wonder.

The big task before me today is to finish my first rough draft of my dissertation proposal and send it off to my adviser. What an accomplishment that will be. All the while I'm keeping Anne Lamott's wonderfully liberating writing advice in mind, summed up in three letters: sfd (s#!%&y first draft). Hopefully I can do that much.

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