In two months, my contract will run out, and I’ll have the UCCF door closed behind me and bolted. At the moment I am trying hard to make sure that I can walk right into another one, but so far all I can see is wilderness.
Either way, it scares the living crap out of me.
Whatever happens to me on June the 18th will be something I’ve never done before. All my life I have either been a student, or someone who works with students. Each stage of my life has been a smooth transition from doing something I know, to doing something else I know from a different perspective. I can hardly imagine what it will be like to step off that treadmill to somewhere foreign.
I know that change has to happen, and I know that I don’t want to stay where I am, even if I had the choice to do so. Things are finishing where I am and it’s like trying to warm my hands on a fire that’s almost out. I know I need to get up and make a new one.
I know too, or at least have been reminded, that God is still there. I know he loves me and that he loves to bless me. That he knows me, knows what I love, what I'm good at, what I’m scared of, what my weaknesses are. He knows the right job for me, and he knows how to help me get it. There’s no rational reason why he would lead me to being a make-up artist, or historian or cricketer, or something else that I would hate and have no talent for. I know he’s not vindictive.
The thing that scares me is the truth that he does know what’s best for me better than I do, and that that sometimes means that it hurts. When I look back over my life, I can see why all the twists and turns have come about. I can see most of the time, what God was doing at each point, and why he did it. I can see where going his way saved me from disaster, and I can see where going mine dropped me right in it. I know that whatever he brings me will be what’s best. The Bible tells me so.
But my memory is not short enough to forget that learning those lessons was always painful. That being sanctified, being obedient, being disobedient, being pruned by the great keeper of the vine; that these things hurt.
I know it will hurt to say goodbye to my UCCF family – it’s hurting now!
I know it will hurt to change such well-worn routines, to leave behind esoteric words, mannerisms, intonations, uniforms, networks; all the ingrained things that come from being part of such a small and particular world as I have been a part of.
I know that the challenge of my sinfully putting my identity in my work and in my ‘status’ in having this job, will be a painful challenge. A disorientating challenge. An uncomfortably humbling challenge.
I know that my shyness and fear of entering a world where not everyone has known my name since before they met me, and the things I have done before will seem meaningless to them; I know that these things will erode my sense of identity even further.
It’s these things that I’m scared of, even if I’m led into the most OddBabbleshaped job I could dare to imagine. I know I need that challenge and I need the change. I just wish there was a quicker, less painful way to do it.