There is a pruning taking place today, a careful cultivation of your life which truthfully acknowledges that, in order to produce the fruit that is needed, there are some paths to growth that will need to be nurtured and others that will be cut short. It is the cost of discipleship and I am here to tell you that it is well worth paying because, in the end, the cost of discipleship is not so different from the price of love. It is the act of choosing to dwell with, abide with, minister to, to love and be loved by the people and places to which God sends us.
It’s been almost a week since I deleted the social media apps on my phone. At some point I finally realized that my 6am doom-scrolling was not only a miserable way to begin my day, but that it was actually impacting my mental health. I was learning nothing new from the breathless barrage of think pieces about the election, but I was exhausting my overloaded nervous system with headlines and takeaways that kept my body awash in adrenaline with nowhere to flee and no one to fight.
We are living in a moment of such tremendous rebuilding. Those of you who are joining the seminary as new students this fall have made significant investments of time and effort and income to begin a journey that may challenge the very foundations of your identities. Along the way you will encounter people you have been taught to regard as foreigners, even enemies, who may become your most valuable conversation partners.