Thoughts from Dietrich

In June, I signed up for an email devotional that ran for 40 days, taken from the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I missed the original sign up period, so I jumped in partway through.

After it finished, they offered it again. The exact same thing. Having missed part the first time through, I figured I might as well sign up again. Reading some of the posts for the second time, I picked up on things I had skimmed the first time. Consider Bonhoeffer’s words on worry (emphasis mine):

Abuse of earthly goods consists of using them as a security for the next day. Worry is always directed toward tomorrow. But the goods are intended only for today in the strictest sense. It is our securing things for tomorrow which makes us so insecure today. It is enough that each day should have its own troubles. Only those who put tomorrow completely into God’s hand and receive fully today what they need for their lives are really secure. Receiving daily liberates me from tomorrow.

Worry is always directed toward tomorrow.”

I’ve seen this in my own life; usually when I flip into hyper-worrisome mode, it’s not about something happening that same day. Even if it is, I’ve probably already worried about it for quite some time before the day arrived. Which is why he continues,“It is securing things for tomorrow which makes us so insecure today.” 

This is where the idea of not worrying and the actuality of it get so tricky for me. It doesn’t work to not plan ahead; if I didn’t plan, I’d rarely get anything done. If I hadn’t planned ahead, I wouldn’t have filled out my application, applied for loans, packed, and shown up at college to move into the dorms and start my education. There’s an element of “securing things for tomorrow” that comes with planning. I don’t think God wants us to never plan anything, because that doesn’t seem like a very responsible way to live and to take care of the things God has entrusted me with.

So how do I make sure I plan, but don’t worry?

Fortunately for me, Bonhoeffer told me that too: “Only those who put tomorrow completely into God’s hand and receive fully today what they need for their lives are really secure.”

There’s so much in those words it’s hard to even take it all in. Not only do I need to completely trust that God has tomorrow in control, I need to receive fully today what I need for my life. I’m not really sure what that looks like in regular life–going to work, eating supper, going to church, hanging out with friends, doing the dishes. Somehow, in that, to receive fully what I need for life.

Dietrich, you’ve certainly given me lots to think about.

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

 

Tales of an Almost College Graduate

5 weeks from now, I will be a college graduate.

I find myself in an odd place, where I’ll have the education of an “adult”…yet I’ll be moving home to live with my parents. My only realistic job prospects are those where I’d likely be working alongside high schoolers–coffee shops, retail, and the like. Not entirely bad jobs, but…well, it seems all my hard work should get me more than that.

4 years. Piles of homework and papers, oodles of dollars, sleep lost, hair pulled out, shoulders tensed up with stress…I can’t help but feel just a bit of a sense of entitlement. My resume is in nice shape, I have good grades, I’ve worked numerous jobs that have taught me (what I think are) marketable skills, my internship supervisor seems to like me, my papers will be handed in and tests taken, and yet I am guaranteed nothing from it.  We go to college for opportunities, to be qualified for “good” jobs, yet the reality is–it may or may not happen, especially soon after I’m done with school.

I’m quite certain there’s deeper lessons here. Unlike the majority of the world, I have an education–what I think to be a pretty good one. My parents are fine with me moving back with them, mooching shelter, food, and air conditioning from them. Though they may get sick of me at times, I do not envision them turning me out on the street at any point (and certainly not in the near future). At least for the next few months, I’m reasonably certain that I’ll be able to keep my car and phone in working order, and I have a few months after graduation until my student loans will begin breathing down my neck in full force. Physically speaking, I’ll be ok for a while.

 

But those things are the ones I’m least worried about.

 

I’m worried about being bored without a job.

About feeling unfulfilled and like I wasted years of my life and gads of money on an education that’s gotten me no fiscal payback.

About the people who will scoff, even if only in their heads, about my Bible and Theology and Communications degrees from a relatively unheard of school.

About feeling like I’m stuck and unable to move beyond college and into “real” adulthood.

 

These are the fears that cannot be fixed with a working car, a bed in my childhood home, or mom’s tacos in my tummy.

These are the fears that I cannot face on my own.

 

“…in him all things hold together.” ~Colossians 1:17

All things are held.

My worries and frustrations. Even me. These are held.

Til next time…

~Brianna!~