This is going to be one of the hardest times of my life. I’ve experienced hard times before (and what I mean by “hard” are those moments and experiences that have expanded my worldview – and sometimes in an unsettling way). P.S. If you want an idea of what I mean by expanded, it’s something like this “bubble boy”:
From his birth all that this boy knows is the world that is built around him. Stuck in his room, he doesn’t know the outside world, and he is far removed from “reality.” But he longs to get outside, so he builds a portable bubble, allowing him to go to school, to get beat up by bullies, and to follow after cute girls. But when he enters into that new world, much of it is wonderful and beautiful, and other parts of that world are scary and dangerous. He did not know those dangers before leaving his world, but as soon as he broke past his childhood bubble, his entire world expanded – for the good and for the bad.
I can remember those experiences in my life very clearly — my first course in college that caused me to understand the Bible and the Christian religious tradition in a deeper and more nervous way; my first two weeks in Uganda, encountering a culture and a place and a way of living that I’d only ever seen before on television. Now I’m starting my masters program at the Boston University School of Theology, and it is taking my theological education to an entirely new playing field – for the good and the bad, or rather, for all that satisfies and all that disturbs.
These things that disturb me, I do not wish away. Things that unsettle us (emotionally/personally/spiritually/religiously) loosen the soil around us, allowing our roots to be transplanted into new, deeper, and richer soil. But the process is often difficult and painful, or at the very least unnerving. Again, I do not wish them away, otherwise I would never mature. But I pray for grace, strength, and wisdom.
I pray for grace, so that when I disregard crucial lessons, they may come back again.
I pray for strength so that I may push forward, to accept ideas and concepts that are hard for me to grasp.
And I pray for wisdom, in order to decipher between unsettling concepts that I should accept and the concepts that I should allow to pass by.