grad school

Life: A Tapestry of Risks

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Recently I’ve been pondering grad school. You know, the kind of musings that require change-of-address cards, and a new resume. Mind-numbing fear encroaches at the periphery of my thoughts. It’s not that I’m unhappy because I’m not. I love my job and I love my house. It’s been easy to say “no” over the years, to choose the practical and known over the unknown. I’ve let opportunities fade into the shadows but somehow I’ve not forgotten them:

“…. I should take that job in London.”

“No. I won’t make as much money as I do here in the States.”

“… The hiring manager from Amsterdam called. That job could be mine if I let it. What an incredible opportunity…”

“No. I have friendships which mean a great deal to me and I don’t want to lose them.”

“… Rather than a  short-term mission trip, why don’t you stay this time? Quit your job and stay.”

“No. I might miss out on something here. I might miss meeting my husband.”

Not too long ago, I read somewhere that God is bigger than our ability to miss opportunties. I really believe that. Yet sometimes we permit ourselves to miss opportunities simply because we’re afraid. God’s abilities toward me were never intended to enable me to live behind fear. God’s ability to catch and redirect me in spite of my decisions requires that I’m actually making decisive choices of action. If I have made indecision my companion, or compromise has become my bedfellow then I am not trusting God. Instead, my indecision has become my decision to live my life in hues of grey.

Sometimes strength and beauty come from risks taken and conquered.

I think of life as a tapestry, with the different threads having different functions. The long parallel threads -the warp- provide the fabric with stability. The threads which are woven through the warp, called the weft, are of indefinite length and are usually used to form the overall theme or design of the fabric. In order to form a complete tapestry, I need both the warp and the weft. If I have no warp, my fabric has no strength or stability. Yet, if I do not submit to some of the uncertainties, my tapestry becomes purely functional. The rich reds and vibrant greens of a life lived intentionally occur when we step out in faith and become the man or woman envisioned in our heart and mind’s eye.

To be dragged in the wake of the passive flock and to pass a hundred and one times beneath the shears of the shepherd, or to die alone like a brave eagle on a rocky crag of a great mountain: that is the dilemma.  ~Praxedis Guerrero, RegeneraciÓn, 18 February 1911