We were headed toward the elevator for a meeting downstairs and I was complaining about the way that one of the companies was handling an error that I had reported. Rather than explaining the situation and the resolution, they avoided contact with me and gave me a rather vague response after they fixed the issue. I knew what the problem was and felt a bit offended that they weren't straightforward with me about what had happened. Stammering, I said, "Well, that's just...just..." My boss replied, "Professional" as I blurted in the same instance, "Dishonest!" That moment rings in my memory and creeps up over the rim of my mind these days.
A professor once told me very plainly that if I wanted to succeed as a professional, that I would need to change my image. Now, I know that this is not what he meant (because he actually explained what he meant), but to me, acting in a manner unnatural to myself is dishonesty toward my conscience. I am an organic thing - my simple, explanatory, and thorough characteristics take root in whatever soil they find as they grow.
But all of this brings to mind a dream from 2007 "...Again, I was racing over the ground. This time, through the low mountains, along the hilly land. I found an abandoned village and went inside a building to stay hidden. Still, they found me and brought me to them. As I backpack fell to the ground, my 'weapons' fell out. Yes, my notes and my books. And the enemy knew this was my weapon - for they were the ones who had taught me." Ah, three years later I can still see the sorrowful, silent look of my mentor as he drew up near the scene. Looking upon me, the captive, his expression ebbed somewhere between pity and respect. He did not have to speak - I felt his disappointment tearing at my heart. Yes, I had given it up. The familiar outlines and notes from lectures and coursework laid spilled upon the ground. After years of study, years of hard work, years of devotion to the art, I had given it all up. For this. Yes, and I did not regret it, despite the bitter-sweetness of that moment.
If I work 8 hours a day, I wish that it were for the watering of souls for the eternal harvest. But before I can be a useful instrument, I have one tough and callous sin that needs to be burned away. Drop the backpack, spill the notes, and crush the idol of men (1 Cor 3:4-7). I need to overcome my need for a master among men. (Matthew 23:8)
This is why God led me away from College Park after graduation in 2007. Had I stayed, while I love God, I would ultimately have been serving men. In 2007, my posts are full of inner struggle, uncertainty, and guilt. I wanted to throw myself into the mission field as a full-time Bible teacher. But God did not want me there. (Yet?)
Now, it's 2010. I've served for teachers, host families, professors, Bible study teachers, boyfriends, elmers, mentors, experts. Now I am learning how to serve God. No doubt, I'll continue to be surrounded by authorities to whom I owe allegiance, but I pray that I may no longer live for them alone, but that my Master would be Christ. Amen!