Monday, October 10, 2005


You know, maybe I'm having student guilt. I'm guessing this happens more frequently than I think. You're spending all this money and getting this degree and some days it just feels like why???

If you've read the blog from the beginning you know I'm really passionate about worship and liturgy. But I just feel like that's a waste of time. I mean, what good am I, learning all this esoteric stuff when there's mouths to feed? What point is there figuring out what I believe about the Trinity or atonement theory when people are dying?

You don't have to know whether Jesus is a personal God or not to put food in a baby's mouth. You don't have to have your theology figured out to give a person their AIDS meds. You just have to get up off your ass and do it. You have to get your head out of the books and put your hands out in the world.

It is so hard to know what to do. Part of me would throw all this away immediately and spend my savings - heck, cash in my 401k - to fly over to Africa and just start doing something. And part of me says that's irrational and I shouldn't waste this time at Fuller nor my brains nor my marriage. What are we supposed to do?

And if I seek to help, I will probably be put in a position to fundraise again, because I have experience and I'm good at it. But that's not satisfying. I don't like hanging around rich Americans any more (putting just about every American in the "rich" category). I mean, I do, I love them, I love my family and friends. But what are we doing??

Can anybody tell me?

Why should I spend $35 to take a writer's workshop when I could buy someone's daily food for that? Why should I sit here and blog about my own troubles when I could be working up my resume to send to relief organizations?

It's the inertia. It's the damn couch-potato life of the American. It's fear of the unknown. No, I take it back. It's fear of rejection. I don't want to be told I can't help. I don't want to be told to stay here and finish my degree and take a parish and quietly live out my life.

Well the ball is in God's court and I said I'd go. We'll see what happens.


Anonymous said...

If you want to be a doer and help people, then by all means proceed, but keep in mind that you are but one person. If you complete your studies and go out into the world to preach what God commands us to do, then you can encourage MANY OTHER PEOPLE to do much more than you could do alone. I know many good Christian people that have a hard time understanding that the neighbor they need to love is not just the one sitting in the pew next to them on Sunday mornings. From what I've read on your blog, you have much to offer the world. I pray that you will receive the inspiration that you seem to request.

Emily said...

Hi (emerging from lurkdom)--

Martin Smith preached at the funeral of a bishop who committed suicide in Massachussetts and said something I will always remember (I read it in a collection of his sermons), paraphrasing here: Jesus gave us something to do when it feels like there's nothing we can do. Do this in remembrance of me.

I believe liturgy of the people on behalf of the people of the whole world is the most important thing we do. But if it doesn't drive us out into the world to do the other things, then it's not good liturgy.

Anonymous said...

I read your "Student Guilt" entry the same day that I read a profile on - Pastor Rick Warren of LAKE FOREST, Calif.By Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe Staff | October 11, 2005.

It put me in mind of Paul's admonition to Timothy about "sound doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:3-5). The jury in out on what is "sound doctrine" in this 21st centrury of the Church of Jesus Christ. It is an important question. I see you as being equipped and positioned to answer that question.

Rick Warren is probably promoting good and doing God's will in Lake Forrest with his 2100 small groups and their "2100 African villages."

But the purpose and future of the "Church" itself is at stake in the world. Is sound doctrine "feel good," "do good?" What is God's will for the "Church." What is woman's position in the Pristhood, and what do we do with Paul's teaching on that subject? The 21st Century, your Century, will either re-interpret the New Testament or lay it aside after 2000 years. The people that flock to "Rick's Warren" are ignorant;- either of the Bible's teaching concerning their life styles or of the society in which they live. .... These are mutually exclusive 'doctrines' and no resolution is being offered.