Thursday, September 27, 2007

And One to Grow On

I am the youngest cousin on one side of my family and, as a result, I inherited tons of clothes as a child. My closet and drawers were always filled with outfits from my older sister and two older cousins. The clothes always arrived with the same reassurance: "You'll grow into them."

It seems like my life lately has been all about growing into things. I spent the summer trying to grow into my pastoral presence and authority in the hospital. I've spent the last few years growing into my role as an adult, each year gaining more and more independence. Each day I do things I once would have handed off to the adults in my life to take care of. In the last two months, I've purchased a new computer, replaced my tires, and started taking on new responsibilities at my church. Each time I do one of these things, I feign confidence and try not to think about the changes going on in my life. But, every once in a while, my own adulthood surprises me.

For example, this past Sunday I preached my first sermon. I have not yet taken a preaching class and I have always hated public speaking. When I first began discerning my call to ministry, I was terrified at the thought of preaching every Sunday, and the terror didn't really fade, even as I took on other ministry tasks without too much difficulty. Preaching always seemed like the biggest hurdle. But when my pastor asked me to give the sermon, I stepped up and starting writing. On Sunday, I stood in front of a congregation and preached. It went well and afterward I thought, "Yes, I can do this. I can actually be a pastor." It was like tugging one of my cousins' shirts over my head and finding that it finally fit me.

I am now officially a twenty-something. I've reached the point where birthdays feel much less like milestones and more like another mileage sign beside the road. To other people, that might be disappointing. For me, it means that I'm developing another facet of my personality. I'm still not going to stop blowing bubbles and coloring with crayons when I need to, and deep down I still cling to some innocent idealism. But there's a new sense of confidence. I worry about what I'm about to do less and simply take action faster.

I am in no way saying that I have arrived. I still feel like a little kid playing dress-up with great regularity. But I have a nagging suspicion that it's not entirely fake, either. Maybe I can do this whole growing up thing.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Oh My Gosh!

I attempted to go to the movies tonight with a couple of friends from school. As we were waiting in line to get tickets, we realized that we were too late for the showing of the movie we wanted to see. As we were standing in line debating what to do next, one of my friends glanced behind him at the next person in line.

Friend #1: (to the person behind us) Should I recognize you?
Person behind us in line: Um, no.
Me: (glancing behind to that person) Yes. Yes you definitely should.

The person behind us in line smiled and chuckled at this. I, in an act of GREAT restraint, chose to leave it at that and allow the person behind us in line to continue his date without further disruption.

Who did I make smile?

SHANNON SHARPE!!!! I'm just now coming down from the adrenaline high of seeing him, and I can tell you, he's actually better looking in person than he is in uniform on TV. It made my night.