Wednesday, December 31, 2014

two constants

Who should I become?

A friend asked me that recently, and I've been mulling over it since

It’s a natural question for a college student. After all, we have all been told that college is preparation for life, so it makes sense to ask what we should be preparing for.

I have no idea what life after college holds for me. At the moment, I’m looking at what seems like an endless list of ideas. Some are actually viable options. The majority, like living in England or Germany with some undefined occupation that involves doing my work at cafes, are more like daydreams.

But here’s the thing: I don’t know what I want to do after college. But does that mean I don’t know who I want to be?

Even though I have no idea what career I’m preparing for, that doesn’t mean I have no idea what life I am preparing for. Sure, I don’t know any of the specifics (like where and with whom and what – all those minor details), but there are two things that I can be sure of.

The first is God’s presence. Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I know for a fact that Jesus will be there.

The second is the presence of people in my life. These people may be welcoming or hostile, joyful or sad, crazy busy or relaxed, or most likely all of the above. But there will be people in my life.

So I know that I need to become someone who will live well with God and among the people whom He has placed in my life.

And then I realized something: like so many other things, who I become goes right back to what Jesus said are the two greatest commandments.

       “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
         Jesus replied: “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all            your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your              neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. So much in the world has changed since the Law was written. Many of the specifics aren’t applicable anymore, most notably the ceremonial requirements. And we have new problems that ancient Israelites would never have dreamed of. (For example, as another friend recently commented, they weren’t asking themselves whether it was ethical to use the atomic bomb or post nasty comments on YouTube.)

Yet we, like the ancient Israelites, can be assured of two things: we will always live with God and in community with people. Those things do not change. And that is why the heart of the law is about how we relate to God and to others.

Who should I become?

Someone who loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength, and who loves her neighbor as herself. That's it. It's as simple, and as difficult, as that.  

1 comment:

  1. really enjoyed this, kate….
    "stumbled" onto your site…
    and your mom called me as i was reading it!