It’s hard to find your place in life. It’s not always apparent just exactly where one fits. I certainly feel this as a seminary student, and I imagine students in other fields feel the same way. This post obviously follows on the heels of yesterday’s post, because finding one’s place in life is linked to humility. When you know who you are, you know how to speak. When you don’t know exactly who or where you are, you don’t how to speak. This can result in a form of confused pride.
I suppose that this is good for those of us who are students. It forces us to be careful, to be discerning, to think about our station in life and the way we present ourselves. After all, we’re not an established pastor, and thus we can’t really talk like one. We’re not an accomplished theologian, and so we can’t speak with the same confidence that a scholar can. We’re not even an experienced layman. We’re caught in the middle.
Yet though we’re caught, we have to strive to speak well and humbly. I see the need to strive for such a posture in my own life. I want to state ideas and discuss arguments, but I want to do so in a humble manner. Yet I’ve got just enough learning and training to become arrogant, if I allow sin to rule me. I’m in the middle, then. I know I’m not established in the ministry, but yet I’ve got solid training. I want to find my place, but my place seems to be nowhere sometimes. (Of course, I put myself in awkward positions sometimes, like when I speak too strongly about a certain matter. I believe I did so on the topic of women and contact sports, and for that I am most sorry. If I hurt or offended you by the tone of that series or any other, please accept my apology. I hope to grow in this area, and am trying to do so.)
Essentially, one discovers in such seasons that life is not easy. This is a remarkably simple insight, but it’s also a helpful one. Life is not easy. One also finds comfort in a reality I mentioned yesterday, namely, that even the greatest among us had times of training and seasoning. I find it significant that Christ waited on the sidelines for almost all of His life before beginning His ministry and bringing His kingdom. We who are young and ambitious often struggle to wait. We don’t want to sit. We want to get out in the world and work to change hearts and minds and lives. We want to speak truth and live boldly and share what has been percolating within us for years. Yet there is great wisdom in remembering Christ’s example when we are seized by such desires. Far better to avoid speaking than to speak foolishly. I have personally become aware of this equation in my own life, and I want to speak carefully and humbly now and always. It is hard to be a student, to be in-between, to have knowledge but little outlet, passion but little preaching opportunity, conviction but little seasoning. The fact that this stage is hard, though, must not drive us to despair, but to seek humility and godliness all the more, to realize that we are being sanctified, that God will have His way in us, that like our Savior, the Lord is preparing us for whatever paths He will lead us to take. This knowledge, not comments, hits, or trackbacks, is our comfort.