I created this blog as a way to process and record my experience as a seminary student. I also hope it will provide a platform for my friends and family to participate in the journey. Some of the entries are kind of long, but what can I say--I was in graduate school, they made us do that...


Thursday, July 3, 2008

I am who I am.

God said to Moses, "I am who I am." Exodus 3:14

What an amazing sentiment. I sit here wondering, however, if it's quite that simple. I am who I think I am, but I am also who everyone else thinks I am. So who does everyone else think I am? I am beginning to learn that I care more about this than I realized. But I'm sure I think about it more than others actually think about me. The thing is, I have discovered an internal insecurity of being perceived as flaky or inconsistent. The odd part is, I'm pretty darn sure I'm not flaky and inconsistent. So why the insecurity? I think it stems from the way I live my life. I'm a wonderer and a seeker, I move a lot and I'm constantly swimming around in new ideas and visions. So, if you only see me once a year, I can seem pretty different with each visit. And because of this, I worry people think I'm a flake!

One of my teachers told me she's going to make me a sign to wear around that reads "I'm an explorer and I don't have everything figured out just yet." Of course, I think she intends the sign mostly for my reading! She is trying to tell me to give myself the permission to live and think and grow without a clear understanding of the end result. She's trying to help me resist my urge to wrap everything up in neat little boxes with labels that I can hand out to my friends and family. She's reminding me of my goal to slow my brain down and listen to wise words like the ones Jeremy recently uttered as I was trying to over plan everything, "we're in a wait-and-see mode!"

But, of course, I am who I am and I don't like to wait and see and I worry people will misinterpret my lack of a clear end result for flakiness. But I must be somewhat on the right track . . . for I live in Indiana and I wouldn't do that just for fun.


Ally said...

How I love you, Summer. Never in a million trillion kajillion years would I describe you as flakey or inconsistent. And I'd gladly kick the ass of anyone who would.

Take your time; think. The world already has too many neatly-tied packages.

Anonymous said...

Yah, I've gotta go with A. on this one--not an inconsistent flake! More like a breath of fresh air. I'll help with the ass kicking-Christina

Aletha said...

The good news is, that from a psychological perspective, those with higher levels of "openness", those who are not afraid to explore new ideas and to go new places in their mind, generally tend to get further in life and experience more "luck" (Check out the latest issue of Psychology Today on "Serendipity", I think you'll find it fascinating!) From how you described yourself here, and the positions you [currently]hold on "the God issue", I'd say our minds work very similarly. I however, have a dominant left-hemisphere, which means that the urges for me to try to put everything in "neat little boxes" and get it all figured out are very strong. But the difference between wisdom and knowledge, is that the wise are open enough to realize these tendencies and still try to find balance. You have some great thoughts!

"Life is a journey, not a destination...."

Aletha said...

One more thought! lol

"I am who I am" I think, is another way of God saying, "Isn't The Good enough?" Those things that are so pure and good, innately by the essence of what they are, always find a way to speak for themselves. They always find a way to persevere, because they are good, simply by their nature. We can't know why, at least at this point in our evolution, but maybe we don't NEED to know: maybe we can just accept The Good for what it is, to celibrate Life and Love and those truths which are so pure that we can't ignore them?

Here's a quote for ya: "When it is genuine, when it is born of the need to speak, NO ONE can stop the human voice. When denied a mouth, it speaks with the hands or the eys, or the pores, or anything at all. Because every single one of us has something to say to the others, something that deserves to be celebrated or forgiven by others." -Eduardo Galeano

Also, I had a theology professor here at WWU (we're required to take a certain number of religion classes, despite your major because it's a private institution) who's philosophy about the Law is very interesting: He draws a pyramid on the board, puts the 10 commandments at the bottom of the pyramid. In the center, he places the "Two" (the verse where Jesus says "Love the Lord your God with all your heart....and Love your neighbor as yourself" (I don't remember where that is found!). Then, on the top, he places Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV) "13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'."

Summer said...

Thanks Aletha! I appreciate all your comments and especially love the image of the pyramid of commandments getting smaller and smaller.

Aletha said...

you can thank Dr. Alden Thompson for that one =) He's a smart man: very conservative in his lifestyle, but quite liberal in his theology and sometimes takes some "slack" for that among the SDA community =)