This blog is meant to be an encouragement to you as you journey through your day. If you have a question about the life of faith, please feel free to email me. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I welcome the conversation.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

We're Not Dead Yet

Guest Writer - Carissa Schutz
September 20, 2013
We're not dead yet
I want to dedicate this post to some of my favorite people in the whole world: my cousins. Right now we are all in a state of transition, including starting a new school year, starting high school, celebrating a 1st birthday, turning 18, starting college, living off campus, starting a new internship, starting grad school, and beginning married life. I love you all and you inspire me: )

I also want to apologize for the overuse of parentheticals, caps, and exclamation points!
There is a concept in literacy education that students should be given materials that are at their level plus one. The idea is that reading should be challenging, yet within reach. I think this is also a theory in exercise, but I wouldn't know because I haven't exercised in a while.

Teachers should provide their students with appropriate material. Any objections? I didn't think so. We would all agree, I hope, that students should be challenged in a supportive, encouraging environment.

So why...and I mean WHY... do we sell ourselves short?

In an incredibly informal study of everyone I know, the majority of people said WOW, MONGOLIA.

80% of people said "YOU are so BRAVE." (And I don't think they were referencing my resemblance to the Disney character in the movie of the same name. I think they're under the mistaken impression that anything awesome about going abroad was somehow related to my personality. Nope.)

50% of people said "I could NEVER do that." And unfortunately I think they really meant it. People, and yeah I mean some of YOU, think that if they were called to a foreign place (or a crazy new job, etc...follow the metaphor...), they could not go. Not that they don't want to go. But that they are somehow incapable. So I wonder, what other things do you think you can not do? And what do you think our Father can not call you to? And do you think He will not call you because you say you are not able? Are you perhaps trying to pull a Moses, literally and metaphorically stuttering in disbelief? Huh? Huh?

I'm a little passionate about this. I know. But recently I've heard people my own age complain about how boring life is. (And how boring Christians are, but THAT'S a topic for another time!) And yeah, sure, there are times where work or school or life's responsibilities are not super thrilling. However, our Father is doing crazy stuff in your neighborhood, your town, and around the world. Shut up any voices that say you can't be a part of this exciting work. (And if you don't think it is exciting, you are not really seeing it, my friends.)
Our Father is the best TEACHER there is. He knows all about giving his students material that will challenge them. He knows exactly what each student needs to learn and grow. For example, He knows that on my own, I'll choose to reread Harry Potter instead of Steinbeck, and watch episodes of Fringe instead of reading, say, the newspaper. I don't really like to challenge myself.

I also don't have an accurate idea of what I'm capable of. I spent the first week of grad school being completely overwhelmed by all the super smart people around me. And then the professor said 90% of our grade is class participation, so now I have to talk in front of these people! But THEN a classmate asked me for advice because I seemed to know everything and she seemed overwhelmed! (I'm not kidding, that totally happened.) While I know this semester will be ridiculously difficult, I'm not out of my league here. I'm just being challenged. It's a "plus one" situation. (Or maybe if you saw my homework for this weekend a "plus three hundred" situation.)

The point is, who am I to tell my heavenly Father that He can't call me to certain things? I would never let a student tell me he wasn't smart enough for a class assignment. Let's stop underestimating what Love can do to, with, and through us. At the very least we need to be open to the possibility that there is an adventure around the corner.

For more blog posts by Carissa Schutz, visit http://beyondideas.blogspot.com/