Going Places

At church this morning, we were honoring a graduating senior, who is a member of the church.  She is the Salutatorian for her class, a basketball player, and the President of the National Honor Society and of her class.  She is a nice person, from a nice family.  And she is planning to major in biology and to study law so that she can go into forensics, which will probably get her a good job after she graduates from college.  I think that her future is bright.

The pastor talked about God’s guidance and getting to know God on one’s journey.  He made some of the same points that he made in 2011, when seniors were graduating (see my post here).  I have to admire the young people at my church for knowing where they want to go, and for doing the studying, the learning, and the work that they need to do to get there.  Another young person at the congregation has interned at the Animal Hospital.  He’s going somewhere!

Someone in the congregation said to the graduate that she just graduated from the easiest time of her life.  I could identify with what he was saying, as could many of the older people in the congregation.  I had my own reasons for identifying with what he was saying, since I realize that life can be difficult and insecure.  I have a difficult time believing that the graduate’s life will be particularly hard, since she’s on a clear path.  But who knows?

I’ve thought at times about high school, college, and life thereafter (which includes graduate school).  High school was an easy time in my life, in the sense that school was not that hard for me, academically speaking, and I didn’t have to worry about too many things.  But I wouldn’t want to relive high school, by any means, particularly the social arena.

I’ve wondered if I made the right decisions in terms of what to major in when I was in college, or if I’m going someplace.  People may tell me that I was wrong to major in religion rather than, say, chemistry.  But I’m not a science person.  I’m not that good at science!  I decided to major in what interested me.  Of course, when reading about the worst majors in terms of finding a job, some of the articles that list philosophy say that a person who doesn’t go on to get a graduate degree in the field will have difficulty finding a job.  Fortunately, I have graduate degrees in my field.  My challenge right now is making myself more competitive for the academic job market: finding topics for articles that I can write, for example.

Years ago, when I went to Redeemer Presbyterian Church, I went to a talk about vocation.  Someone in the audience said that he did not feel that God was leading him because he didn’t know where he was going.  A lady then told him that Abraham and Sarah were really old when God started to use them!  Some people may be on a clear path early in their lives, but there are others for whom that is not the case.

I was also thinking about the idea of God having a plan for a person.  I used to see that in terms of God having a plan to make me famous and renowned!  Nowadays, I think that God can have a plan for a person that is more low-key—-important, mind you, but not necessarily entailing fame.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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