Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why I Wish I Could Be Indiana Jones

I understand very well the absurdity of this statement. So let me clarify. Everyone has a dream, or for the ambitious and bold multiple dreams. Some are childhood fantasies, while others are desired, often lofty, career or personal goals. Nothing is wrong with this, even when some are rather ludicrous. Better to attempt to fly then to never leave the ground. Regardless, I have never had "dreams" of the usual variety. I don't want to be famous, wealthy, or even conventionally successful. I don't care what kind of car I drive, what my house looks like, or that I marry a supermodel. My idealization of life has always been rather vague, and typically somewhat bizarre. To me a life on the road is close to "ideal," never knowing where I'll be next, or what I'll be doing. I know I can't work the same job for 30 years in an office, it would drive me to insanity. Travel will be essential, meeting new people, seeing new places. This seem acceptable to me, but it has always lacked the hint of focus it needs. This is where Indiana Jones comes in. I love the idea of constant change. One minute Indy is in Shanghai, and the next he is back teaching students as a professor of Archaeology. He is awesome without trying to be, and extremely passionate about what he does. Yes, and completely fictional. My biggest question has been, how do I mesh my interests and the absurdity of obsessing over a fictional character with my faith in Jesus to impact lives? So far my best idea has been government work. Of course, for a long time my best idea was the only one. Then I read something so honest and heartfelt that I began to think deeper about direction.

Sometimes inspiration comes when you least expect it. I had thought I'd heard it all before. Growing up in a "missions" oriented church almost everyone seems to view that as their calling. Now I can't question God or a person's heart, but I often did self-righteously. It seemed absurd that individuals of different backgrounds and talents all felt called to tribal based missions. Not to lessen their importance, but there are other groups of people in the world. Also, everyone seemed concerned with saving souls, but not with improving quality of life or really utilizing interests and talents effectively. I came to Pitt, and I still thought I had heard it all. The usual: I want to be a youth pastor, I want to campaign for human rights, I want to work with inner city youth, etc. All noble, yet, areas already saturated with an abundance of individuals. I had heard it all, and then suddenly I hadn't. Freshmen year my uncle sent me an article listing the highest paying undergraduate jobs upon graduation, which I found interesting. Near the top was pharmacy at over 100,000 a year. When I came to Pitt I knew one individual from my high school who dropped out of the program, and another who was considering it (until she also left it at the end of freshmen year). I assumed the starting salary was the motivation for most people, since the program is rigorous and difficult. However, then one person changed my entire perception. Of all the people I've met at Pitt she is one of the hardest working, genuinely intriguing, personalities I know. Also a pharm major, I figured her goal was similar to most, and she seemed more capable of anyone else I knew in the program of attaining it. Only her goal wasn't the usual. Going to Africa to dispense medication for a disadvantaged and extremely poor population is not the usual. It is the extraordinary. I have, in all honesty, never been as inspired, intrigued, and impressed as I was after finding this out. This quickly made me realize I had things wrong, and that this was exactly the kind of thing I needed to consider. Using my talents, with my faith as inspiration, to impact lives globally. I already love travelling, and I've had a geography obsession since childhood. Needless to say, this led to some, perhaps, rapid developments, which may have been too rapid. Regardless, my opinion of the nobility of the dream remains unchanged, despite its altering by a unnecessarily difficult organic chemistry professor and class. Some would say it wasn't to be, but I know that God always has a plan even when it looks lost.
Maybe I can be Indiana Jones. Not in the same manner, but as a Christian who wants to impact the lost. I have come to see God may want me to leave the country for him. Sometimes our interests and God's will do mesh without a struggle. Ultimately, fighting God's will for your own interests is a losing battle. I will go where you send me. Still, it is hard to stay motivated and direction often seems lost to the darkness. However, I have seen bright lights, and they have shown me how to find mine. Gratitude is hard to express, but I have a great deal for those who truly deserve it. Keep pushing me, I need it. I could be doing more, one class isn't enough, and a little work never hurt anyone. Thanks for the inspiration. Take a break every once and a while, you've earned it. If government is the answer, then I trust that I will feel a push in that direction. Some say wind is the result of weather patterns, upper atmospheric air currents, but when it's at your back it's something more. God says he will uphold you with his right hand, and who can say the wind isn't an extension of God. Sometimes it's a breeze, sometimes it's a gale, but either way God has it under control. And that is all I need to know.

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