Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hitting the Books...and the Bottle

What better companion for preparing for the most important exams of my graduate career, creeping up like a naughty cat in less than five days, than a bottle of cheap cab-merlot, some homemade soup, and a slew of books and journal articles I can't wait to bury in an academic graveyard following this whole affair? There is a part of me that wants to just consider all preparation as futile and throw it to the wind (which is probably what I will end up doing). Comprehensive exams are the kind of exams you can't cram for. But I'm trying anyway.

As I sip wine and stare out the window, listening to Belle and Sebastian, I realize that stress is not my friend. I worry about the future, about finding a job, about where I will live, and what direction my life will take. This is my quarter life crisis. I am sure it will all be like a bad dream as the future swallows up the present, each day creeping closer to old age, disease, and death.

I have been meditating on two verses from scripture: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged..." --Joshua 1:9; "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." --Jn 16:33. They have been immensely helpful for putting things into perspective. The Israelites wandered for forty years in the desert for God's sake. I can spend a few months wandering around in uncertainty. Mt. 6:34, the old standby, offers the greatest assurance, though, if I can trust it: "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Nothing has come through on the job front, though there are some prospects. If anything comes through for campus ministry, it would not be until the fall, and in the meantime I am looking for jobs in case management, not exactly desirable, but I need to do something. I also need to have faith that something will come through.

I know I sound like a broken record. One thing I should count myself blessed in is finding love. Some people spend their whole lives building up their careers and making a life for themselves while an empty place stands whistling in the cold where love should be, but isn't, for whatever the reason. It blows my mind how people find each other and make a life together, but it happens. I have to trust that details will get ironed out with time, and that I will also find a fulfilling career, even if I have to wait for it and make some sacrifices. For the present I can revel in meeting someone who is a fit, a godly woman, someone I admire and am awed by for her character, integrity, beauty, and spirit. I trust my gut, though the future is always uncertain. I am drinking wine by the window and waiting for her to ring the bell.

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