Monday, June 13, 2011

Confusion and Clarity

DKTVI used to watch Doogie Howser, M.D. when I was in high school.  It's actually a bit mind-boggling to realize that Neil Patrick Harris is not only currently better known for his role as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, but that the Stinson role will (rightly!) be better remembered as Harris' legacy into the future.

My favorite part of every Doogie Howser episode was the end, when Doogie would be seen writing on his computer, reflecting on the events of the episode (this was just a personal journal, as internet access--let along blogging--was not yet widespread).  Every journal entry would close with what I called the "highly profound quote" (my high school self thought that this was quite clever).  Doogie may have been a doctor, but it seemed to me that his real calling was writing.  I actually discovered on Wikipedia that the producers of Doogie Howser, M.D. actually did intend to end the series by having Doogie quit medicine to become a writer, but this didn't actually happen on the show, and I didn't learn about this until quite recently.

The sermon at yesterday's Pentecost worship gathering highlighted the way that God sometimes uses confusion to bring about God's purposes (in fact, it did this both intentionally and unintentionally, as the pastor had a serious case of laryngitis, and had to give his notes to someone else about an hour before the service so that the other person could prepare!), and I find that this is a message that resonates with me pretty well right now.  I may share more details in the future, but it's enough to say right now that I've been looking at some aspects of my calling that I thought were clear once upon a time, but which have been much more confusing in recent months.

So, how do I seek clarity out of confusion?  One thing I have begun to take more seriously in recent times has been to look at those things I have gravitated to naturally, such as my work in the School of Theology at Fuller and my blog writing.  Parker Palmer, for example, has argued that this is one way in which God helps people understand the specific calling that God has placed upon their lives.  That doesn't mean that I'm identifying a calling as a writer the way that I did for Doogie Howser (I'm convinced that, if that show were taking place today, those scenes would totally have shown Doogie writing on a blog rather than a computerized personal journal), but the principle is similar.  If the blog has given me a chance to do anything (beyond the obvious practice at writing that it provides), it has been to be reflective about the things that I've been involved in, and thus to be more aware of them myself than I would otherwise have been.

1 comment:

  1. God never ceases to amaze me in how he communicates with me and with others in my life. There aren't many moments when everything seems clear in my life, but I always know that He is there holding my hand and leading me to do what He wants me to.

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