Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Missteps & Meanderings--Wesley Foundation Eletter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Dear Friends,


Hope you all had a great Fall Break.  It was so good to get away and be frivolous for a little while.  Our family visited Atlanta for the weekend.  The big thing for us was the indoor swimming pool. Woo Hoo!  Anyway, my prayer is that you each made it home safely and found yourself refreshed for the second half of the semester.  Just think, in two months it will be finals!


Worship tonight @ 6:30pm!  We will continue our time looking at Isaiah 55.  Our message will focus on the providence of grace.  Exactly how is it that God provides for us?  What is the connection between God’s plan for our lives and free food?  It there a process to the way His gift makes it to our table?


Thursday night free meal and District Wide Worship!  Come and hang out as usual @ Wesley about 6:30pm.  We will order pizza and eat around 7pm and then head over to State St. UMC around 8pm.  I am so excited to gather with other college students and young adults from around the city!  And DG Hollums is going to be awesome.  Quite honestly, he may be the best preacher I’ve ever heard under the age of 35!  You will definitely be blessed.


Friday we leave for Fall Retreat!  There are still spaces available for our Fall Retreat at Camp Loucon.  Cost is only $40, and that covers your lodging, meals, and activities.  We will meet at Wesley Friday afternoon at 3:30pm and car pool.  They will have dinner for us about 5:30pm that evening with hayride and campfire (with smores!) later on.  On Saturday we will do low elements, rappelling, and folk dancing!  And feel free to bring lots of movies!  Here is what you will need to bring with you:  toiletries, towel/washcloth, bedding, warm clothes, and comfortable shoes.  On Sunday we will leave Loucon around 11am.  We will eat breakfast there, but not lunch.  It is supposed to be really cold this weekend!  I find dressing in layers is helpful.  And also be prepared to get dirty.  We will be outside quite a bit.  If you have questions, let me know.


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


When I first came to Wesley in fall of 2002, Geoffrey would often say to me, “Sami, you’re definitely a 90’s Christian.”  I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I think it has a lot to do with my favorite worship songs and the fact that they all have hand motions.  Oh, and that I get very excited when I get to sing them (and do the hand motions too).  Let’s just say I never lack enthusiasm.  One of my favorite songs from my youth group era went something like this:  “Oh God You are my God, and I will ever praise You. Oh God You are my God, and I will ever praise You.  And I will seek You in the morning; and I will learn to walk in Your ways; and step by step You lead me; and I will follow You all of my days.” 


I love that line “step by step You lead me.”  Lately my prayer has been, Lord, just order my steps.  Boy do I need it!  I’ve shared with many of you my misstep a few weeks ago.  I was at Panera’s having some quiet Jesus time when I felt the urge to go pee (happens a lot lately).  So I got up and went to the Ladies Room.  When I got inside I stared incredulously at the urinal on the wall.  I thought Panera’s had become some sort of freak of nature restaurant for putting a urinal in the Ladies bathroom.  Yes, I really did think that.  Luckily I realized where I was before any men came in. 


My Panera’s incident is a good metaphor for the missteps we take in life.  Missteps often fall into two scenarios:  wrong paths and wrong perceptions. Often times we are convinced that we are headed in the right direction, and then believe the whole world is wrong when things don’t measure up, look unfamiliar and weird, or are just plain wrong.  We start off on the wrong trajectory and wonder why we didn’t end up where we wanted.  We assume the problem lies with the place we stumbled onto, instead of considering the possibility that maybe our steps headed us to the wrong place.  Or sometimes there is nothing wrong with the place we end up.  In this scenario we actually followed the right path, and we are coming to a place along the road that isn’t what we thought it would be.  The problem isn’t so much the place we are as much as it is our perception of where we are and why we are there.   We assume we are capable of assessing our circumstances ourselves, instead of listening for direction that comes from a source much wiser than our own stores of wisdom.  It’s like we do the right thing and don’t understand why it’s not getting us where we want to go fast enough.  It’s like we do the right thing then take a look around at our situation and think to ourselves, “This sure is a crummy place to be.”  Then we look around at others who are doing really well doing their own thing (instead of the God thing) and we think, “I should have joined them.  If I hadn’t followed You God, I would be in a much better position.  Gee thanks.” 


I’ve taken both missteps in my life.  It is so easy to not do the God thing, or to put off doing the God thing until life is less stressed, I have more free time, or things get easier.  I mean really, it is a hassle to give God the first portion of everything I am; that means the first and best part of my day, the first and best part of my paycheck, the first best part of my energy, the first and best part of my heart.  It’s so easy to “do the Christian thing” but not to put Him first in my life, to just offer Him the leftovers.  It’s so easy to think, “I can’t have quiet time today, I have to study; I can’t spend time in worship, I have too much reading; I can’t do that thing that keeps nudging me, I have too many tests.”  What I have found is that when I give Him the best of who I am, He multiplies what is left in a way I never could have done.  Only then is there really enough of me to go around.


On the other hand, I have often not put my faith in the process of faith.  I wanted a quick fix and easy answers to my problems and dilemmas.  I have often forgotten that God is working from the perspective of eternity, not the immediacy of my small moment.  I forget that God has a way of working out the really big deals in my life in His time and His way.  I want to see His hand move now, minute by minute.  It’s like I do the right things and get so exasperated that I am not seeing the differences I want to see when I want to see them.  My perception is focused on my own desires and not on Him.  It’s like I’ve allowed my head to be so full of my own thoughts and opinions that I have not allowed God any room to speak Eternity into my now moment.  So it’s not that I have arrived at a wrong place as much as I’ve allowed my thoughts and my emotions to settle in a wrong space, a self-centered and selfish one, instead of that space of trust and peace.  The question that matters most is “Am I allowing God the space to interpret my circumstances to me, or am I demanding that I get to interpret my circumstances to God?”  As if I could know better than Him.  J


And so my prayer is, “Lord, just order my steps.”  Sometimes I feel like all I have to offer God is my weakness.  I look around and there isn’t any real grand accomplishment from my efforts.  I can honestly say I feel deeply and love with abandon, but both things have gotten me in trouble.  And so it’s like, okay God, all I can offer is the trouble I seem to get myself in:  Trouble, here she comes.  But I believe that God is glad to have our weaknesses, because it is there that He reveals His strength.  And out of our missteps freely surrendered to His loving hands we discover the beautiful gift of His gentle leading, teaching us to walk in His ways.  So my prayer for you and for me is that we will be courageous enough to do the God thing first, and patient enough to wait on His revelation of why that is a good thing in our lives.


This is me trusting,








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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry




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