I am listening to old school Christian music. DC Talk. The song What If I Stumble always makes me think abotu my life. How many times have people been watching me when I have stumbled? What if I stumble and I can’t get up on my own? What if I don’t want to get up? What if I like lying on the ground flailing around in misery? What if I care more about people seeing me stumble than I care about actually stumbling itself? Sometimes I feel like I care more about what people think about me than I care about doing the right things. I care more about looking like I know how to walk than actually walking that way. So many times when I was a youth pastor, I had this fear that I might be being watched by a student and screw it up. Would that student lose his or her faith in God because of my mistakes? Would that students lose his or her faith in me? For that reason alone, I wore my heart on shirt sleeve. I was as honest with them as I could possibly be. About my past. About my present. About my future. Honesty didn’t make it easier. I still worried that they might see me fall and not get back up again. I say all of this because I think the whole point of life is the necessity to see others fall, to see others stumble, and then to go help them up and walk beside them so they don’t fall again. And if they fall again, to help them up again. And again, and again.
I am so excited to begin the PhD program, but I am also scared shitless. This is it. This is where my intellectual buck stops. This is where I have made my decision about what I will do with my life. I commit. I decide on the end to the means. I choose books. My only reservation is: What does reading and writing about literature do to improve the world? What could I do to better serve my God? Have I missed [Their] bus? Have I taken the wrong one? Does God want to use me to reach someone through literature? What is the meaning of this?