Saturday, September 16, 2006

Do you know your potential?

I saw a movie today - the first in a while - that has me thinking. It was "Lady in the Water" by M. Night Shamylan and I really liked it. It's different than his previous movies - a lot more humor, almost poking fun at himself at times, and based on a bedtime story. Of course, his movies always have some bigger, "universal" themes to them, and this one dealt with people understanding who they are and living up to their potential. If you haven't seen it, I don't want to give anything away, but there are several characters who are challenged by things that they are asked to do, or we in the church might say, are "called" to do. The main character in particular doesn't see himself as much of anything but gets called upon to do great things that he think he is unable or unfit to perform. Likewise, the female lead doesn't believe she is able or brave enough to fulfill her role - she says that the others make fun of her because she's usually clumsy. I wonder how many of us feel that same way...

When I made the decision to come to seminary, it wasn't so much about the job I would be doing when I was done but about the experience of studying theology itself. I love seminary - the learning and conversations that wouldn't happen anywhere else. I thrive on it, but I have no idea what comes next. Am I being called to something great? Who knows?! Right now I'm just trying to complete classes and graduate in May, but there has to be something next. I need to find a job to be commissioned as a Deaconess in April, but I don't even know what kind of job I want. I keep saying that I don't want to preach, that I'm not meant to be a pastor, and the truth is I think I'd be horrible at being a pastor. I don't have enough patience or interest in the business side of things (to begin the list). However, I also have to admit that I'm terrified of preaching. I've never done it before, and my adamant denials that I'll preach probably come as much out of fear of success as they do from lack of experience. I don't want to be a good preacher - and yet it's not my choice. I'm in preaching class this semester, so we'll see what happens with it. I don't know if it means anything, whether I'm good or bad at it...
So what are you afraid of? What do you think you could have been had you not held yourself back? Do you think you are called to something beyond what you are now?

4 comments:

hipchickmamma said...

first of all...like it or not, i really think you would be a great preacher. i've heard you talk about being nervous about the center of attention thing but you are one of the best leaders on campus.

even if you're nervous and speaking in front of a group, you have a presence that conveys strength, intelligence, no bumbling idiot to be found anywhere!

i have no idea what you are called to do--but i can't see it being behind closed doors somewhere.

in a related note to the movie--recognition was key. the misperceptions and assumptions we make about people--including ourselves, the rules we construct in our heads can destroy us and those around us.

i loved it--it was great fun.

Big Unit said...

Ok, time for some fresh discussion.
I heard former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey refered to as a "gay-american". Why does "-american" have to be attached to everything? I want to say up front I don't care if he is gay. (period). We all know he is american. We know he is gay. Does being anything"-american" give it more validity? Is there so much national pride that we want to be "-american" not not be confused with some other nationality? Should I be a "straight-american", hipchic a "methodist-american"?

By golly, just be American.

Unsolicited guest post by Big Unit

mandyc said...

What's the matter, Unit? Didn't like the sbject of the new post? Nothing to say about your personal potential to be the biggest proudest boyscout in the USA? Perhaps we can call you a boyscout American?! :) Hee hee! I'll see if I can come up with something a little more controversial for you the next time...

rae's space said...

To respond to Big Unit...I agree that it's kind of silly to add "American" to the end of McGreevey's gay label. Just an FYI-the Democratic Party's Gay/Lesbian group is called the Gay Lesbian American Caucus, and since McGreevey is Dem, that's probably why he's being referred to as such.