"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

1.24.2006

runnin' like a child from these warm stars

Today is a Big Day. Not in the sense that there's anything special about Tuesday, January 24, 2006 in the grand scheme of things. But in my little world, it's a Big, Scary Day. At 1:50pm, I have to walk into a room and prove to a group of people who are a lot smarter than me that I have an idea that's worth pursuing. All the work, not just over the last 18 months of proposal-writing, or even the last four years of PhD work, but all the work in this crazy journey that started when my 8th-grade reading teacher said that she thought I should join the Model UN team and so I did, and sticking with it all the way through college, and all the work on that first trip to Kenya of trying to understand how the world could ignore such an amazing place, and all that work in Cameroon and Washington and Africa, and all that snow in New Haven, and all the ten years of professors and term papers and a thesis and an idea. And it all comes down to today. At 1:50.

I am scared to death.

And in the midst of my being scared, there's grace. My friend Christine, who is a friend from camp who is good at setting you straight when you let fear win, wrote to say that God goes before us. My pastor said, "remember to breathe." The day I taught my very first class at Yale and was scared to death of those students who were way smarter than I'll ever be and many of whom knew far more about American military history than I did, my wise friend Betsy said, "Just don't forget to breathe." When I think about what's happened in the five years in between those two reminders to breathe, I know that there is grace. God goes before us...

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