Last I heard, I wasn’t 14 anymore… so…

…why am I getting pimples the size of Russia on my face? Hm? I’m just sayin. I thought that was an adolescent thing.  I

thought by the time 22 hit, I would be immune to it.  But nope. Sure enough… there it is… a nasty little bugger, right near the corner of my mouth.  And when I mean size of Russia, I mean… whip out a map and stick this pimple on it, and I’m pretty sure that it would take up the equivalent space on my face as Russia does on said map.  Okay maybe that’s a bit exaggerated. But still. Seriously.

And naturally this happens the day before an important job interview that I am scared out of my pants for.  I’ve had some interviews for jobs I didn’t really care for that I didn’t really prepare for… because lets face it… why would I, a theology major, care about a data entry job for an automotive company?  That’s like asking the Pope to work the drive through at McDonalds.  Not that it’s a bad job… just that well, you know… the Pope is qualified for other things… other more important things.

And I’m terrified of this interview because it actually means something to me.  Granted, it’s not exactly the job I went to college for… but it is still in the general environment which my degree is in (it’s an office assistant position at a Catholic university), and could at least get a foot in the door for another opportunity even more closely suited for whatever the heck I’m supposed to do for the rest of my life. Maybe.  I’m actually preparing for this interview… meaning I am looking at mission statements, I am looking at programs this department in the school offers, I am preparing for questions that I may or may not be asked so I don’t sound like the bumbling idiot I’ve been sounding like for the past three months of my life… shoot,  I am even YouTubing videos on how I should present myself to my potential future employer.  Yesterday, I bought my first big kid suit… I even got the opinions of a couple salesladies before buying it… just to make *sure* I was portraying the correct image.

I’m freakin out.

So this morning, when I said hello to myself in the mirror and found Jupiter on my chin, I was not pleased.  I know I can’t help pimples… but when I see pimples, I think teenagers.  And when I got my big kid suit yesterday, I did not want to look “teenager,” I wanted to look “Catholic intellectual.”

And then I realized… God is trying to teach me something in this moment.  I don’t NEED to be perfect.  I need to be myself.  I need to let my love of theology shine in my interview, not my adultyness.  I need to trust that God will put me where I am needed.  This pimple humbled me a bit.  I mean I know I’m kind of a big deal, as I’m a child of God and all, but I should be willing to go where God leads me, not where I think I deserve to belong.  I’m caught up in this frame of mind that I am a big bad college grad, I spent thousands of dollars for a piece of paper to put me in a job that will earn me more than minimum wage, I have been a good and faithful servant, I DESERVE this job.  But the problem is that my ego might be getting a little too big.  Sure I deserve happiness, but really, the reason I am alive and on this planet is bigger than me.  I could very well work at the drive through at McDonald’s and be exactly where I need to be.

I’m not saying at all that I should disregard my wants and desires… as God designed me with those particular desires to begin with, and those desires are good. However, I have to be careful to not enter the territory of thinking I can do it all on my own, that everything is in my control.  Because it’s not.  Not needing to be in control is a great gift from God.

So I’ve got a zit the size of the sun on my face.  So it’s unexpected and a pain in the kisser. I’ve just got to make my smile bigger, and my personality shine through even brighter.  Because ultimately, a zit isn’t going to keep me from being where I need to be.

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Can You Hear Me Now??

Do you remember those commercials for Verizon with the dude walking around on his cell phone saying, “Can you hear me now? Good!”  I do that a lot.  On my Verizon phone.  My phone only sometimes gets good reception.  A lot of the times it straight up lies to me.  It will tell me that I have 5 bars only to drop my call anyway, just because it feels like it. Sometimes the message comes in loud and clear… and other times it gets jumbled and I have to keep asking “What? What did you just say? Can you enunciate??”  I feel like an idiot a lot when I talk on the phone because I keep needing to ask people to repeat themselves.  It’s really beyond my control… obviously.   It’s my stupid phone’s fault for getting the message jumbled up.

I don’t think I ever had that kind of problem with my home phone.  When the phone is directly connected to the wall, it’s not an issue.  But if I have to get some stupid signal to go all the way out into BUFU space, and then expect it to bounce alllll the way back down to the right person, there ain’t no way I’m going to be guaranteed a clear connection.  At least that’s my personal experience with it.

In getting the convenience of a cell phone, we can potentially sacrifice the quality call received and transmitted.  And while cell phones are seriously a blessing when it comes to emergency situations, or being in contact with anyone no matter where he or she is located, it can also be deadly.  There are more opportunities for disaster with cell phones when it comes to things like calling/texting while driving, or walking across a street, or I don’t know, meandering in front of a train or something.  People just get stupid when talking on their cell phones.  And I’m one of them… I’ll be the first to admit it.

And so it got me thinking.  I’ve been waiting for God’s call for you know, 22 years of my life. I always think I may have heard God say something… but actually, I wasn’t hearing right.  Or sometimes I lose the connection.  Sometimes I think I’m in a place with great reception, only to move just a fraction of an inch and lose my contact.  I try to connect with God on my terms.  I try to figure out a way where I can do what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to do it… and finagle God in there somewhere, wherever God can fit.  In all of this finagling… I forgot how to listen. I forgot how to create an opportunity for me to simply be still and pay attention.  Or sometimes I focus too much and forget to look at the grander picture unfolding.

I’m trying to connect with God on a shaky cell phone connection.  I’m too busy, I’m too impatient, I’m too set in my own dreams sometimes, and this causes my signal to break up a little.  And then I misinterpret the call, all the while God is on the other line saying, “Sara?? Are you there?? Hello??”  I think I’ll be able to hear God better when I plant myself down to a landline phone… when I remove those other distractions and find a way to focus on just listening with the ear of my heart (as the Benedictines would say!).  Maybe it means reading scripture once in awhile. Maybe it means just taking time to be still.  Maybe it means quit it with telling God what to do, and just be there with the active listening skills.

I think that’s where many of my frustrations with difficult discernment of my calling come into play.  The problem isn’t that God isn’t listening… it’s that I’ve got a crappy connection.

Do you ever feel like that?  In what ways can you create a better connection with God?