Almost finished…..well, maybe!April 30th, 2014
On Friday May 9th, I defend my doctoral dissertation Teilhard in America at the University of Dayton, the final step in a PhD in Theological Studies. I find this utterly amazing. I never imagined that well into my fifties, over ten years after entering a Master’s in Theology program, I would be at this point in my life.
God leads us down some very wild and unexpected paths!
I am also ALL too aware, though, that without the continuous support, encouragement and interest of many people, there is no way this work would ever have been finished. Even more than any amount of time, effort, or research involved, completing this degree has been a psychological and spiritual battle. Thank God for those who surrounded me and kept reassuring me it was indeed possible, that it would happen.
In a sense, then, I see this doctoral thing as a massive group effort. We all collaborated, in one way or another, but I was the one individually “called out” by God to do this particular part of the work. Isn’t that the way it is in life, whatever our vocation? No one really does it all alone; it’s only jointly, with God, that things fall together.
In a sense it is too bad, though, that unfortunately I am also the only one to whom they will confer the degree, but at least I can share the celebration. So we will rejoice, as a community, the signs of God at work among us in this way. We will celebrate and appreciate all our varied gifts.
I will hope, too, that by the completion of this degree at least one other person will be inspired to also follow God’s call into a change in life. If that person is a woman, who by my example realizes that YES, it IS indeed possible to do something more, to be something more, to follow an inner longing to grow, even at middle-age or beyond, then I will especially be very happy.
As for the future, well, I intend to just keep on doing what I’m doing, meandering down this very crooked path called my life, trying to determine when and how high to jump, and where to turn, as requested by a most loving, heavenly Father. Hopefully I’ll get it at least somewhat right, even if right now I have no clue where I am going.
I am sure, though, that even if – as usual – I don’t get it perfect, some more truly amazing things lie up ahead. After all, our God is truly an awesome God, and what is really cool is to be able to provide some small service in his name to the community I call home.
I’m sure hoping, though, that future service is a bit easier than a doctoral program!
P.S. Prayers are appreciated for May 9th!