Seriously, does anyone remember the Goosebumps series? My brother was totally into those when we were kids (yeah, I’m perhaps dating myself rather young, here, but it happens). They freaked me out. But then, I was kind of a cowardly kid. Hang on. I still can’t watch scary movies. Dang.
But the saying is true, all the way back to one of the freakiest plays I’ve ever seen, The Monkey’s Paw. And this week, I’ve learned it’s also be careful what you ask for, especially when dealing with Divine Beings–they just might give you the answer, and it will probably be one you didn’t actually want.
When I was a kid, my dad told me how he got into the field of employment where he’s spent most of his life. He was a chem major in college (because my whole family is scientific except me; seriously, we have favorite element contests at Thanksgiving), but he’s a project manager for software development now. Whence the switch? When he was in college, computers were just getting started, and he took a programming class on the side because he was bored with being a science genius. He also asked a really attractive girl (not my mother, incidentally) on a date. He got so wrapped up working in the computer lab one night that he totally stood her up because he lost track of time. He realized his mistake, apologized profusely, and they set up a new time for the date. He did it again! Working in the computer lab, he realized he had again gotten immersed in his programming and missed his date.
She didn’t do another reschedule, and he became a computer programmer. If you love something enough to stand up hot girls, I guess, you love something enough.
So I’ve been wondering my whole life what that career will be for me. What would I stand someone up for? In what will I totally lose myself because I love it so much?
I wasn’t finding anything, really, not least because there weren’t many guys around that I wanted to go on dates with, anyway (yes, my username should actually be Christiana, but her character is a lot more lame. Alright, I’ll go change it at some point). So I was talking to my colleague Talkative about it last year and he said, “Well, maybe this is a better way to look at it. What books do you read even when you’re falling asleep at the text? What will you stay up late working on even though you know you should have gone to sleep hours ago–but you just can’t help yourself from turning the next page because you’re so interested?”
He’s an idiot sometimes, but that wasn’t one of them. That I could see. So I filed it away and resolved to pay attention to my reading habits.
Because you can never expect God to answer things on time, of course He decides to hand me astounding revelations when I’m in the most uninspiring environments. He doesn’t seem to go in for theatricality, so the other night I was driving home from a friend’s and it became clear as day to me–the Church. I have actually showed up to my real job late because I was working at the church, I have pushed back dinner dates with friends because I was at the church, I have missed picnics and movie outings and lots of time that should have been spent doing homework because I was at the church. The books that are next to my bed are What Jesus Meant and a commentary on Hosea, and I have actually fallen asleep reading them because, even after I put away the Latin and the medieval drama texts that I do actually care about, my heart is with those books.
So I have my answer, sort of, for a field that owns my heart. Now what?
For I know the plans I have for you”-[this is] the Lord’s declaration-“plans for [your] welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11, CSB)