I have committed the cardinal sin of applying to gradschools: I only applied to one. Two programs, but still only one school.
Now, I’m starting to get nervous.¹ Some students have already heard back from the school. I, on the other hand, am still in the dark about what to expect. Thus, the first thought that popped into my head this morning was, “Did I get in?” It is the first week after spring break, so I figure that maybe all the profs are back in their office and have realized how much they want me to come to their school. I can only hope…
…Or can I? A thought occurred to me yesterday that is worth exploring: Is God ready for me to leave my current undergraduate institution? Even if I do get in to grad school, should I leave my current institution and go to another one? I never asked this question because the process of education is so ingrained in my mind: Take classes, pass classes, graduate, and on to the next thing.
This process, however, is not necessarily informed by the Great Commandment or the Great Commission. So, I need to ask this question. I need to seek the will of the Divine in deciding whether or not to dip out.
What is exciting is that not graduating, even when I have the opportunity to, seems like death, and that’s what I’m supposed to be doing: dying. I’m supposed to be dying to myself and my desire to navigate my life the way I want to. I’m supposed to be dying to the world and its ways of thinking that are so integral to me that I can’t see the inimical impact of them on my path of discipleship.
I can see the puzzled looks on peoples faces already. “You mean that you got in to grad school, but you’re sticking around UCF anyway?” My Dad would certainly be puzzled, and probably a little disturbed too. These dirty looks and perturbed persons, however, are perhaps more evidence that I’m doing something right than the other way around: Beware when all men speak well of you.
While I’m dying, I am also gaining new life. I’m receiving, “Life in the age to come.” I’m ushering in the kingdom of heaven.
May I be given discernment to decide whether God demands that I die in this way, and begin to live in the age to come this way, for it may not matter if I get in to graduate school. It only matters if that is where Jesus leads me.
1. By the way, I don’t have a particularly good reason to be nervous. I found out on the Gradcafe that I’ve scored several hundred points higher on the GRE than some individuals who have received acceptance notice. I also know that they don’t necessarily admit persons faster just because they have competitive scores.