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4.27.2005

Inside, Outside, Upside Down. . .

While I was unable to stand on my head in class this morning, I nonetheless managed an upside-down-esque stance (inspired by one of my favorite childhood books) that suited the occasion:

“These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also.” - Acts 17:6b

When I arrived at seminary the first time – back in 1992, I wanted desperately to fit in, to be popular, and to be noticed. So, I did all the “right things”: I went out after class for drinks with classmates and professors; I organized “pub nights” on weekends; I participated in study groups and stayed up late reading and writing so that I would always be at the top of my game. And so I was. When I graduated magna cum laude, I was the center of my universe. Some would say I was a success. Some might even have been envious of my success. But I knew the truth. When I graduated it was without a call, without hope, and without God. It didn’t feel like success to me. In fact, it was death.

Ten years later, I am back in seminary. I still want to fit in, to be popular, and to be noticed. But I am no longer willing to do those "right" things, those "expected" things because, for me, those things lead only to my death. [Upside-down-stunt] Instead, I am trying on a new perspective - a new way of looking at the world and its possibilities. Because, if we are going to turn the world upside down, we have to first be able to imagine the world upside down. Does that sound exciting? Maybe a bit uncomfortable? It is! But I promise, you don't have to do it alone and, I've been told, the rewards are eternally life-giving!

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I received some ironic (but extremely helpful) feedback. To many, I appeared most comfortable, open, and invitational in my conclusion which I delivered upside-down (physically - dont' worry, neither the chair nor I was hurt in the exercise). I am glad this was the case, because I truly was trying to invite people in at this point and yet, it was extremely uncomfortable! The Holy Spirit, mysteriously at work, once again. Thank God for God.

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