Enjoy the Ride

During this past semester, I was enrolled in a Directed Study. When a graduate student is interested in studying a specific topic that is not offered in a class setting, there is the option of asking a professor well-schooled in the area to direct them through research and writing on the topic throughout the semester. Because my thesis writing looms out there on the horizon, I felt the need to do some preliminary work on the idea that has been swimming around in my mind since I took Intro to New Testament way back in Spring 2015. Much like the roller-coaster ride that brings about many thrills and screams and enjoyment, this Directed Study brought about much anxiety – AND – a strong desire to take the ride!

This wonderful ride on the Directed Study roller-coaster was filled with twists and turns and really, really big hills. Most of those hills were a slow climb, the tug-tug-tug of the coaster’s enormous chains pulling me up to the peak in order to see all that is around me, as well as that which is far in the distance, as if previewing the future. However, there were also times when I reached the top of an enormous hill only to realize that quite a bit of fog impaired my view of what was to come next. That cloudy view made the drop to the bottom of the hill extremely nerve-wracking. Thankfully, the professor guiding me and some fellow seminary students who allowed me to vent my feelings of insecurity served as the safety bar that kept me from flying out of the ride. For a while, I was holding on tight to that safety bar! But as the semester moved along, the fog was less and less and I was able to start letting go of the safety bar and throwing my arms into the air, trusting God’s call to keep me from flying out of the ride.

Like most amusement park rides, now that it is over, I am left wishing there was just one more turn or one more hill to experience. However, as I step on to the safety of this ride’s landing platform, I realize there is another roller-coaster awaiting my arrival at the other side of the park. That coaster’s name is: THESIS WRITING! I am pretty certain I caught a few glimpses of it when I was at the top of the hills of this semester’s ride. It has phenomenally high hills that appear to reach higher and plummet steeper than any of the hills I experienced this semester. When I first saw it in the distance, I thought it was a ride for which I would never want to buy a ticket. Now, after experiencing the ride on this semester’s coaster, I find myself more and more excited to sprint across the park to get to THESIS WRITING!

When I look back at moments in my life when I experienced a great deal of anxiety, I often laugh to myself. Hindsight always relieves anxiety and I only wish I could have the hindsight as the foresight. The good news for me is that as I grow in my own personal recovery and on the academic path that God is laying out before me, the anxiety becomes less crippling and more motivating. Each step of this Directed Study was one step closer to the light of my thesis idea. Looking back to my Intro to New Testament notes reminded me how long this idea has been ruminating in my mind and my heart. Reading that which was assigned and sharing reflective writing with the professor built confidence in my ideas. Most importantly, recognizing the necessity for a more focused approach to my idea helped me to appreciate the importance of asking for direction and suggestions from those who have already experienced thesis writing. As I have discussed my idea with the professor and others, I have been pointed in many directions that are all helping me to define and refine what I want to write about.

Everything I need to know about life I really have learned from my recovery from my addictions! Trust God. Reach out to others to ask for help and guidance. Do the work. Really do the work – pay attention, review and review again. Share my work with someone else who has gone before me to receive honest feedback. Hold on tight when things get scary. Redo the work when necessary. Keep trusting God no matter what. Let go and enjoy the ride!

One comment

  1. Very nice,
    I’m currently sitting in the fort Lauderdale airport awaiting the next fog enshrouded Hill Entitled “ cuban customs adventure” 🙂 thank you for your uplifting and calming story…
    Great work, and best wishes with your ongoing journey…


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