“On my Australia study abroad, there were about 10 UGA presidential scholars, 7 Coca-cola scholars, and 2 Rhodes scholars. I’m not even kidding. I felt like a fish out of water. At first at least. Then, I realized that their elitist behavior was merely a mask. Underneath, they were as insecure as anybody else. I had many conversations with these “intellectuals.” And 1 Corinthians 1 has never been so real to me. God really does choose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He really does choose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. “Not many of you were wise by human standards…” Ah…I am not wise by human standards. And it is OK. 🙂 haha. God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Today in the library, I was reading Christopher Hitchens book: god Is Not Great. And despite all of his persuasive arguments, I still believe in a great God. The gospel is crazy. And I believe every bit of it. Needless to say, most of the UGA students thought the Bible I carried with me in Australia was a piece of trash.
There was one girl that particularly intrigued me […] Back then, she talked to me about her dreams for her life. She loves the Middle East. She wants to see peace there. Problem is…the only hope for that region is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ […] Christ is redeeming all things, even the Middle East. His ambassadors are weak. His team is made up of average people like me. and a few above average people like you Katie Baker 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for you. I am thankful for Christians who love the Middle East. I am thankful for a loving, good God who chose us before the foundations of the world.”
I wrote back:
“Truthfully, a battle still rages inside of me to be on top, to be one of the educational elite. I know you also must deal with this as well.
I never wanted to go to Afghanistan through His bride. I would rather go through the state department. I would rather use my knowledge of International Affairs and Farsi & Islam and go and draft peace treaties and movements with a law degree.
Problem is two weeks before I took my LSAT, God surprised me with 14 puppies to take care of and as I tended to those orphans, frustrated with no time to study, I realized that most likely the educational elitist road is not the one I actually want to be on.
I taught the Foundation Fellows in my Honors class, Solutions to World Hunger. So much of who they are runs in my veins. I went to the Hun School of Princeton. I competed with those who went to Georgetown & Dartmouth & Brown. I taught the kids who get to be Rhodes scholars and Goldwater scholars. I sat in class with them and I looked at them and I said, “I am smarter than them. I could be better than them” I was a royal bitch, you see.
This year has been a year of God beating the pride out of me. When I though I was going to be in Tajikistan writing about Persian Poetry and the effect it could have on world peace… I instead served hamburgers to people at Bretts. When I thought I was going to be a TFA teacher working in the inner city, I instead worked at a law firm making excel spreadsheet with the rich white people.
No surprise, God does not want to add to my ego inflation. He doesn’t want to give me a list of degree or community service hours I can add to my list of social justice endeavors. But that’s a hard lesson to learn, because I am fiercely competitive and I’ve been “bred” to fight academically. And God didn’t want me defend the orphans and the widows with a law degree, he wanted me doing so by being faithful in the little things, for learning how to tend to orphan puppies, and orphans at Sparrows Nest or orphan spirit adult people who have come into my life. And as I am faithful with the little He gives, he gives me more and more to tend to humbly.
There is still a part of me that wants to size up a Rhodes Scholar and tell myself I am better – that I could do more and learn more. My biggest dream of all was to be a Rhodes Scholars. I sat under the Bridge in Oxford where you make wishes and wished and prayed to be back there learning what they learn. It was my greatest earthly dream.
But instead God gave me Anne Harper. Jessica Longino. Judge Johnson. Dorrie Garner. Meg Abbott. Irby. James Lee. Braden Buckner. He gave me Carr St. He gave me His bride, and he will use us the church because He loves us so. You are right, He does use the humbled and the weak and the meek and those who aren’t inflated and ego-filled to bring his glory, joy & kingdom to the orphans and the widows and he will use us to shame the wise of the Pashtoons. He will use a girl with broken Dari to stand at the tribal assemblies. He will use the young woman of Afghanistan to rebuild the walls.