Sep 14

A Cocoon of Diversity

It isn’t the real world

 

I live in a dorm on campus while I attend seminary. I live in an intentionally diverse community, in a small liberal university, in a small town, with a lovely quaint little downtown. To locate a big box store requires navigating a major interstate highway. The most common speed limit on the roads that I drive is thirty-five miles per hour. I am surrounded by a wonderful community of people from all over the world. A community of people of every culture you can imagine, we are diverse in age, and faith tradition, sexual orientation, and class. We come from small towns and big cities. We become Facebook friends to get to know each other and we work very hard at pronouncing each other’s names correctly. We are liberal and conservative, environmentally conscious, socially aware; we stand up for truth and justice, mercy and tolerance. We learn together and pray together saying the Lord’s Prayer together each in our own language. We sing in different languages, but we all know the song. We are all of these things for a precious moment in time that we know will not last forever but we so truly wish we could change the world to match our wonderful cocoon!
School will change us however, we will learn, we will grow, we will be expanded beyond our own comfort zones and then we will be sent out, out into the world, out of the cocoon. Into churches and classrooms, and some of us back to a country we have missed all along. Sent to teach, preach, serve, love, sent to spread the gospel. To spread the gospel in a world that is not tolerant, not welcoming, not inclusive, and in so many cases not ready to learn the things we will so desperately want to teach.
We will come into this world with our wonderful idealistic view of community that we have learned to live in and we will be smacked with the realities we knew existed all along but sincerely wished had changed while we enjoyed our cocoon. We thank God for this precious time in our lives. Time to deepen our relationship with God and develop the discipline needed to carry us through the work God has in mind for us.
For myself and my first year fellow students we will forever remember making the decision to follow God to this place. We will remember the hard choices made to come here and the people who have helped us to make it this far in our pursuit of being able to truly follow God wherever the call takes us. We will truly be able to answer with a resounding YES when God asks; Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

The Summons Written by John L Bell © 1987, Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc. agent

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  1. Yes! Isn’t it wonderful! Enjoy it now, remember it, and you’ll find places all your life where you can help build, nurture, and protect pockets of peace for the rest of yoir life on earth.

  2. Unfortunately, life is not lived on the mountaintop, but in the valley. The mountaintop time is to prepare you for the rest of your ministry. Enjoy it. Life will intrude soon enough.

  3. Unfortunately, life is not lived on the mountaintop, but in the valley. The mountaintop time is to prepare you for the rest of your ministry. Enjoy it. Life will intrude soon enough.

    • Frank M. D'Ambrosio on September 16, 2012 at 12:23 am
    • Reply

    I was a little younger than you when I started my formal training as a pastor. Even though I had already spent over 20 years as a lay preacher, it didn’t prepare me for this part of my journey. Oddly enough, though, I never felt the shelter of a cocoon; I knew that “the real world” was a far more hostile place than the gentle world of Wesley Theological Seminary. The experiences and people at school, as well as actually serving an ungrateful congregation in Schoharie County, did change me forever: I learned, I grew, and I resolved to allow nothing or no one to ever change my path! I smiled at the previous comments, because they, too, had a familar ring!
    May you always be pleased by this difficult path on which you have so bravely embarked!

    • Frank M. D'Ambrosio on September 16, 2012 at 12:23 am
    • Reply

    I was a little younger than you when I started my formal training as a pastor. Even though I had already spent over 20 years as a lay preacher, it didn’t prepare me for this part of my journey. Oddly enough, though, I never felt the shelter of a cocoon; I knew that “the real world” was a far more hostile place than the gentle world of Wesley Theological Seminary. The experiences and people at school, as well as actually serving an ungrateful congregation in Schoharie County, did change me forever: I learned, I grew, and I resolved to allow nothing or no one to ever change my path! I smiled at the previous comments, because they, too, had a familar ring!
    May you always be pleased by this difficult path on which you have so bravely embarked!

    • Lisa Teliski on September 16, 2012 at 10:52 am
    • Reply

    I felt better after reading this. I’ve been down and now have a smile on my face.

    • Lisa Teliski on September 16, 2012 at 10:52 am
    • Reply

    I felt better after reading this. I’ve been down and now have a smile on my face.

  1. […] the diversity of the Student Body, the challenge of learning with students from around the world, and the campus that was a “cocoon”  as I called it. Since that time my life has changed in ways I could have never imagined. I fell in love with […]

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