Thursday, November 15, 2012

When I pray for patience, God feeds me soup.

I love school--always have, always will.  There is just something great about contemplating difficult questions and ingesting sweet knowledge!  The problem?  I want to get out of the practice ring and into the real world.  You see, it was the real world guided me to this place.  I chewed up lectures and assigned readings and spit out papers and presentations for my Religious Studies classes in undergrad, but I was adamant that I would not go to seminary just because I loved school.  And then I became a YAGM.

As a participant in the ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission program, I was thrust into the real world in an all too unfamiliar way.  As a missionary volunteer accompanying a community in the West Bank, I learned that ministry looked a whole lot like relationship, caring, trust, sharing, grace, and agape love.  I felt a call to work alongside, guide, and care for people in faith, and ordained ministry began to feel a whole lot more like my reality.  This year exposed me to life outside of the classroom, and yet these experiences pointed me right back to the classroom.  I decided to attend seminary not just because I loved to learn, but because I felt called to share the Gospel.

Still, seminary is a 4 year process of which I am a little over 2 months of the way through.  Bottom line: though I love school, it seems a little counterintuitive to sit in a classroom again.  I am impatient.  These classes and assignments are extremely thought-provoking, practical, and applicable, and are helping me build a solid foundation for ministry that I would not otherwise have, but I still find myself praying for patience.  ...A few weeks back, God heard my prayers and fed me soup.  

This particular soup I'm talking about was a delicious chicken noodle soup a member of my dinner group made the other night.  She said the soup must simmer for four hours in order to reach its fullest flavor.  ...Okay, I get it.  Building a strong foundation for ministry is like cooking up some delicious soup--it takes intentionality and care for all these ingredients to mix and mingle and come together over time to reach their fullest flavor-packed potential. 

For this reminder, I am grateful-- there is still so, so much I must experience and learn.  I continue pray for patience and God continues to say, "Simmer down, Janelle.  We're still adding spices."  


  1. Shway shway, habibti. First year is hard. It is a foundation, but it also feels intangible unless you're using it. I volunteered with Night Ministry during my first year to help with that disconnect in my mind. But, be gentle on yourself, regardless of what you do. :)

  2. Janelle, it was good to meet you a few weeks ago, and I love this entry :) I have to pray for patience a lot too!!!

  3. So good to meet you, too, Anna! And thanks for the note, Meredith! Yes, doing my best to be gentle, and continuing to pray for patience when I'm not! :) Peace, friends.