What Makes You Come Alive?


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ― Howard Thurman

Today I enter into the my last few hours of class as a doctoral student at McCormick Theological Seminary. I must admit to very mixed emotions this morning. Am I excited? Sure – yes – I guess! It is exiting to know that three years of work is nearing completion. But I am also a little melancholy this morning. This will be my last class with my friends and colleagues Rick and Cynthia who were with me when I stared in 2009. This will be my last opportunity here at McCormick to engage with new friends. This week I have been inspired by Chris, Christine, Anna, Haeran, and Jerry who were a part of this class. They have each been a gift to me. This will be my last opportunity here to be introduced to amazing faculty and guest professors who, like Jerry Tosahlis this week, have helped me seek to better understand who I am and how I relate to ministry.  This will be my last trip to Chicago for a week of study and reflection. This will be my last opportunity in a seminar setting at McCormick. I will miss it! The last opportunity to check in at the nerve center of DMin-hood. McCormick’s own West Wing (despite its location in the East end of the Building). The Dean Jeff Japinga and Regina Hunter, Admin. Assist. Of Doctoral level programs, along with Martha Brown, Director of Doctorate of Ministry recruitment keep our program moving forward like a well oiled machine. Martha is such a kind soul, who was the first voice of McCormick for me and is singlehandedly responsible for my recruitment. Regina is a presence of the Spirit whose smile and willingness to help brings peace each day. Jeff is a steady and reassuring hand at the rudder whose faith and witness have been a great gift to me on my journey. I have a trip back for a couple of days in a couple of Months for my oral examinations and then a May Convocation. When I think of that – I truly am excited!

My Last Class

This morning our group will discuss Disciplines of the Spirit by Howard Thurman, who is quoted above. It is a fitting last day kind of conversation for me. When I set out on a journey three years ago, looking for some renewal, much of what I was doing was asking “What can make me come alive?” I would suggest that above all of the many things that McCormick has given me, is that gift of life… dare I say New Life! Three times a year I have journeyed to Chicago and in those trips I have gained a deepened spirituality and an awakened sense of my connectedness to others and to my creator. Each trip here has brought me into communion with a  diversity of God’s people and by the very nature of those encounters, these trips have brought me closer to God.

“The world needs people who have come alive.” Thank you McCormick Theological Seminary for the work that you do to help practitioners in faith ‘come alive.’ – It feels good to be reborn…and yet to be still asking “What makes me come alive?”

Curious George in his Last Class Hours

10 thoughts on “What Makes You Come Alive?

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  1. Kevin, my Friend and Brother, I so identify with you. Though I stand at the beginning of my thesis project, the year ahead, and a class included, I am also thanking God for the change that He has brought through interaction in this program and with people like the staff of McCormick and other students like you. Please know that my prayers are with you as I salute you for a journey well traveled and the inspiration that you have given to others like myself. Thank you for becoming alive and sharing that life with the Body of Christ!
    Bless You,
    Lew

    1. Lew,
      you have been a great part of my self awareness in this program (as has Erika and Ray) and how I relate to others, to God and to priesthood. Thank you for sharing yourself and you will remain in my prayers as you continue in your studies.
      Keep me in prayer my friend
      Peace
      Kevin

  2. Kevin – Yesterday morning our Yoga teacher was focusing on the heart
    and left us with the message”Go and do what it is that “Charges your
    heart” . Now today you are here telling us do “What makes us come alive”
    More than mere coincidence I think!

  3. Thanks for another inspiring blog post. This past year has certainly been time for reflection for me. Many times I have asked myself “What is my passion? What makes me come alive? What is my PURPOSE?” I think I know the answer now, or at least I know the direction. I feel like I am like a caterpillar in a crysalis who has to completely melt down before it can emerge as a butterfly! (But soon I will fly)

    1. Beautiful — I thank you for your kind words. You have been helping many people ‘come alive’ in the midst of much death. As you continue to become increasingly aware of who you are and who you are becoming, I continue to pray for you. Keep praying for me too.

  4. Yes. Do what makes us come alive! I discovered much to the chagrin of others that you only truly become alive while singing on stage. An interesting anecdote: Shortly before the performance, during and for a time afterward — you have measurably elevated immune system function! The elevated function comes about whether you sing badly or sing well! No difference. It is the becoming alive that helps you live. I will wager that this remains true whether being alive means a pair of knitting needles clicking away or an auto restoration project. (Or a doctorate?)

    1. You indeed do become so very alive when you sing – thank you for sharing that life-giving gift with our church community — my mother found much life with knitting needles and my dad found much life in restoration… and indeed I have found good life in doctoral studies. Thanks for adding a comment here.

  5. I write this literally from the end of the word, Ushaia, Argentina and send my congratulations on nearing the end of your journey to a Phd. We are proud of you as it is no mean accomplishment to have undertaken the task while attending to all of us at St. marks by the Lake.
    Our love comes with the message

  6. What a great gift you have received from them and your parish for enabling the time. You have deepened through this study, Kevin. Preach it, brother!

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