“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!
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?”