tilling the soil

Posted on March 22, 2008


never thought I’d title a blog entry with an agricultural term, but there it is.

since august of 2006, my life – especially in the day-to-day sense – has been pretty steady. wake up, shower, go to work, decide how to feel about work that day, do my thing, go home, do self-maintenance stuff, sleep. repeat monday through friday. I say “steady” because it’s pretty neutral; what it really is is stagnant. nothing spectacular, but nothing utterly depressing or out of the ordinary for a freshly minted college graduate. I’ve recognized that routine in itself isn’t a bad thing. sure, it may not be the ideal approach to living. but it’s not bad, especially for me, a closeted control freak still in utter denial that I possess such tendencies; an auteur-type parading as (and still convinced of being) an edgy, improvisational-type.*

the crux of my dissatisfaction in regard to regimen, I found, was the lack of progressive context. my daily doings weren’t amounting to anything bigger, nor were they for anything bigger. I was stagnant because I was directionless. I was directionless because I was stagnant. The ouroboros would be proud.

recognizing this, I’ve slowly started to till the soil that is my life. the calendar year thus far has been filled with thoughts and plans to turn things over, agitate my self-imposed status quo, and reclaim a sense of the future. basically, I’ve somehow mustered up the courage to make decisions and act accordingly.

the biggest thing so far is my commitment to pursue grad school. after months, if not years, of questioning and wondering, I’m convinced now that I want to end up in the 501(c)(3) world, an arena that, at its core, stands profit on its head.** I’ve begun to research schools and their respective programs. I enrolled in an introductory grant-writing class. the GRE prep books are sitting in my room. quite a departure from no plan, no activity.

soil tilled? I’d say so.

scared stiff? even moreso.

and therein lies the next hurdle: to not be frozen by this foreign concept of ambition, to not become debilitated by anxiety, to trust in providence, to rely on grace. even when the soil is tilled, the sower still needs patience and, even still, hope to see something good come of the land.

and I guess that’s where I find myself, in a state of “we’ll see” that seems to pop up way more often in my life than I’d like. however, on the bright side, there’s an implicit, near-hidden freedom at the heart of “we’ll see.” I do what I can, concede my shortcomings to the One who knows me better than I ever will, and simultaneously get to marvel at the grand orchestration that becomes increasingly evident as I learn, at times painfully, to loosen my hold on outcomes.

now, this is all good in words and thought at 3:00am, but reality is, of course, harder. this is, I suppose, the push and pull of our best-laid plans. and this is where, I suppose, the place through which I’ll find myself navigating over the next few months. who knew soil required such upkeep?***

Consider the Ravens – Dustin Kensrue

“between the river and the ravens I’m fed
between oblivion and the blazes I’m led
so father give me faith, providence and grace
between the river and ravens I’m fed
sweet deliverer, oh you lift up my head
and lead me in your way”

*definite future entry fodder.
**an admittedly oversimplified statement. more fodder for a future entry.
***farmers and agrarians need not respond.