Saturday, March 12, 2011


It is easy to get frustrated -- and despondent -- when you forget not only what you are working for, but whom. I don't mean this in the exclusively divine sense ("I work for Jesus!"), but also the human. Last year, at seminary, was one of my most fruitful years in terms of insight and joy -- I had a spiritual awakening and I also knew who I was studying for. This year I seem to have lost a bit of zest. Apart from often feeling buried in work (but that is not a new feeling), I've lost focus. This year I've been concentrating on making professorship my career. It has made me miserable. I like being a professor. I can easily see doing it for years and years (even though my post a couple of days ago might seem to argue against that). But if I am just working on getting a secure job, I'm working for the wrong reasons. In that regard, I've never been particularly ambitious: working to 'get ahead' just does not interest me.

But this week, I've been reminded of who I work for, who I study for, and who I am ambitious for: the community of saints here in Beaver Falls. Why study theology? To draw the community together to worship God and to realize His Kingdom in this place. Why make coffee? To draw us together in conviviality and fellowship. Why bake bread? Man shall not live on bread alone, but he does -- every once and awhile -- need good bread. Companion comes from the idea of eating bread together. Thinking this way energizes my living and my work and draws me into tighter union with those who are also united with the Messiah.

This is the reason that my dream -- however nascent! -- of starting a bakery here never dies. This is the reason that my hope of reestablishing the fresh water spring in our neighborhood is growing into action. God has not only called me in general, but called me here with these people and others who He will call.

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