Tuesday, May 27, 2008

news from the front

I'm deferring law school. For at least a year. Maybe forever. Lots of reasons for this change. Too many to list here! Ask me if you're interested.

Instead...I'm working part-time at the U of T campus ministry again next year!! I'm thrilled about this. I feel alive there. I know I can serve there.

Here are some wise words from Parker Palmer that I've been contemplating recently...

Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks--we will also find our path of authentic service in the world. True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts when he defines vocation as "the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need."

Buechner's definition starts with the self and moves toward the needs of the world: it begins, wisely, where vocation begins -- not in what the world needs (which is everything), but in the nature of the human self, in what brings the self joy, the deep joy of knowing that we are here on earth to be the gifts that God created.

Contrary to the conventions of our thinly moralistic culture, this emphasis on gladness and selfhood is not selfish. The Quaker teacher Douglas Steere was fond of saying that the ancient human question "Who am I?" leads inevitably to the equally important question, "Whose am I?" -- for there is no selfhood outside relationship. We must ask the question of selfhood and answer it as honestly as we can, no matter where it takes us. Only as we do so can we discover the community of our lives.

As I learn more about the seed of true self that was planted when I was born, I also learn more about the ecosystem in which I was planted -- the network of communal relations in which I am called to live responsively, accountably, and joyfully with beings of every sort. Only when I know both seed and system, self and community, can I embody the great commandment to love both my neighbour and myself."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

May flowers

I feel like I don't really have anything interesting to say... but do feel obligated to update at least once a month! (In case anyone is still reading....)

I'm now in the thick of thesis work. I've yet to finish a course paper and an independent study, so my time is divided three ways (course paper, thesis, independent study) at this point. However, most of my day involves reading--for all three things. Some of the topics overlap, which is convenient, and also makes life more coherent!

I'm loving our new house--'our' being Ann, myself, and Rocky, a co-worker of Ann's who has moved into the third bedroom. It's great to have more space, and some personal space, and I'm still unpacking (books!) and rearranging how I want my room to be set up.

Things are still going wonderfully in the relationship department... Wonderfully. We celebrated 6 months on Friday, with an amazing (and, all a surprise to me) evening in the Distillery District of Toronto--dinner at a fabulous local restaurant, at which I had the tastiest chicken EVER (and it was free-range!), and out to the Soul Pepper theatre to see the Neil Simon play, "The Odd Couple"--wow. The acting was amazing, and the script was hilarious. And, Justin gave me roses... A perfect night, basically. Except it was pouring rain when we got out of the theatre. But hey, it didn't dampen our spirits at all! :)

This weekend is crazy with ICS stuff, and next weekend I'm going to Grand Rapids and Chicago (to see Justin's brother graduate from Calvin Sem and to see my sister and brother-in-law in Chicago). I'm trying to get TONS accomplished during the week so that I can feel guilt-free relaxing on the weekend!