Because for the first time in a while, I have time to write
Sitting, with an hour to spare. My hands are restless, my mind’s confused because for once, I have nothing I’m supposed to do. No planning, no essay writing, no scheduling, no prepping, no worrying, no reading, no meeting, no thinking. Absolutely nothing on my checklist.
(God help me to not put my identity in the lists I cross off or in the activities and organizations I’m a part of, but you and only you.)
It’s the end of a hard week. I’ve written 34 pages, persevered through four essays and sat for hours staring at a computer screen. But I got to understand more about the voter initiative process, what an effective legislator is, what cultural factors affect the way I approach conflict, and the theories behind ethics and justice in international relations.
I’m realizing more and more about how wonderful it is to be here at Berkeley. I get to explore topics I would never think about. I get to soak my brain in dense readings I’d never have the patience to get through. I learn what it means to learn. And I meet people and hear stories. I see peers from all different walks of life in my classes and I get to talk and listen to them and share in the identity of being a student here at Berkeley. The single mom with four kids. The suburban, urban, central valley kids. The passionate, the quiet, the thoughtful, the outspoken. I relate to people I never thought I’d be able to understand.
It’s a blessing having a community here. But I’m forced out of my bubble when I walk into classrooms. When I’m the only one who calls Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. I used to think this meant I’d come into the classroom and walk out without talking to a single person because hey, I can talk to people who actually understand me.
And then one older sister wisely rebuked me. She said there’s no wide chasm between myself and “them”. We’re human. In the simplest way we can empathize and understand and feel and know what every person goes through. Yes. It’s easier sticking with my circle of friends. It’s easier conversing with people who speak the same “language” as me.
But there’s this joy of meeting a stranger, and laughing over something together. Of sharing a “hello” and a working together on a project or activity. This week I realized I really like people. They make me smile, giggle and it’s refreshing talking about things I’m not used to discussing. It’s interesting hearing the perspectives of different people.
And in Berkeley you meet so many people. The speaker of the Assembly, world-renowned professors, lawyers who work at pro-bono law firms, the president of the political club, the organizer of a campus protest, the freshman who helped pass a legislation on LGBT rights. It’s so cool!
I’ve been meditating on Daniel 6:3 for the last two weeks.
"Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.”
I used to think that only pastors and missionaries could be completely sold out for Christ. But I read the book of Daniel and I was so shocked and so so so encouraged that a man, who became one of the highest officials in government, loved the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul. And that it was through Daniel’s actions that King Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful man at that time, praised the Lord.
And Daniel, wow, he lived most of his life steadfastly and quietly as a governor. Of course he had those awesome moments of being thrown into the lion’s den and coming out alive and interpreting the king’s dreams accurately. But wow, most of the time he was just doing his job and loving the Lord. And as he sowed in prayer and prioritized God above everything - including his own life - it prepared him for the moments where God used him powerfully.
It’s okay if I want to become a lawyer. It’s okay if I want to read briefs, and prepare documents and stand in trial and work with people who may not understand me as well. It’s 100% possible to be a lawyer completely sold out for Christ!
Lord I pray that an excellent spirit will be in me as it was in Daniel, so that I may glorify you in all that I do, whether I eat or drink or prepare legal documents in your name.
Thank you Jesus.
"How many of you are afraid of something?" I start my second sermon with this question. No one dares raise their hand lest they reveal any sign of weakness and risk being made fun of.
”Ok. Well let me tell you what I was most afraid of when I was your age. Not monsters. Not bullies. Not even…
If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.
— Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (via sincerelydebbie)
I Feel His Love by Laura Hackett
Absolutely love love loved dancing to this during service today.
The Harlot by Misty Edwards
Jesus. Jesus I love you. Crying crying. Heart accelerating. Joy erupting. Thank you Jesus.
It’s been a while, too long actually since I’ve posted anything publically, but I felt God tugging on my heart to post this. So here we go.
To say Pastor Steve is an anointed man is an understatement – his passion, love, trust, and dependence on Christ is boldly and unashamedly shown in his…