I haz it. Or doez I?
“Purpose,” “direction,” and “vocation” have been all up in my face recently, for a variety of reasons – Avenue Q on my iPod on repeat, for one. But seriously…
My dad confronted me on my occasional laziness, saying “you need to light a fire under your own ass now.” While I know I come off as one of the scrappier, more ambitious collegians in my friends’ lives, it’s times and talk like the previous one that scare me – am I really ready for the world?
I’m 21 and (if I wanted) 2 classes away from graduation. Being at an age where I could possible slip into venality, obscurity, or starvation by my own stupidity has also sobered me. Adventists combine the Protestant work ethic with an occasionally terrifying awareness of a final reckoning, and the thought that my life may not be righteous (not glorious, not famous, not even useful, but righteous) gives me serious pause.
Finally, the passing of a mentor has also shaken me, particularly after all that I’ve learned about his life and how he found his calling so young. What the hell am I doing? I don’t know how much sand I left in my hourglass, and, deep down, I still believe (and probably always will) in the Last Judgment.
What’s a man to do? I kind of stop in shock in realizing that, in the eyes of God and Caesar, that’s what I am.
I pray for work – meaningful work, work with a purpose and with integrity.
A freelance writer (and starve?)
A journalist (with Bagdikian and Moyers’s comments about the brokenness of contemporary media in mind?)
A saxophonist? (Is that even still possible?)
A minister/theologian/evangelist (even with my life and lifestyle? Do I want to put my family through that?)
A professor? (Can I even wait that long?!)
A political activist or organizer (even if that may lead me away from the anti-union, apolitical church I love?)
What is to be done?
I feel like an amateur poker player who’s been dealt two aces, but doesn’t have anything else on the table – but has just been pushed to go all in.
I need to spend summer and fall sorting my cards out. Heaven help me.