I have always wanted to do a “Photo a day” Lenten Practice. This year, I am finally doing it. And I’m loving it! You can follow them on my instagram @margaretucc or at my facebook. Each day of Lent is an assigned word and so each day I post a picture that I think shows that word and then I give some meaning to why I chose the picture, or what that word means to me. I love this PRACTICE of each day contemplating a word. Some of the words are harder than others. My friend Katrina Fitzpatrick is also on this journey with me. I love that we have different interpretations. If you’d like to join in, please do. Use the hashtag #ucclent2019.
Recently, I posted about the word “NEAR”. Folks really appreciated it and asked that I make it available to a wider audience. So here it is.
I had a hard time thinking about near – near in physical space? near in time? God is near? so… I went with the countdown to college decision time being near.
Lenten photo journey : “Near” – as you know, I work with youth. By now, it’s possible that seniors have made their decisions for next year – gap year, school, trade school, work, travel, etc… and maybe their decision is an intentional choice to not have anything figured out for next year. For those who have applied to college, the final deadline is NEAR to say Yes or No to that school. So, I decided to use a picture of me in college at Seattle University(Go Redhawks!) on move-in day my sophomore year. May 1 is the deadline. The countdown has begun. What I would wish for our youth and for our families is that this decision didn’t have to feel so big! Yes! It is a major investment in yourself! But… I think the rat race scares us into believing that our entire future rests on this one decision! To go to college, to get the good job, to have the nice house and meet your forever person. So that you can have kids and raise them so that they can go to college, to get the good job… you see where this is going. My grandmother worked in college admissions. In fact, she worked at Wellesley College and interviewed Hillary Rodham (now Clinton – I think you’ve heard of her!). My grandmother always said – let college change you! And I have changed that to say “let LIFE change you! Let God change you!” If we plan our lives too much then where is the room for the Holy Spirit to shift and move you towards your deepest calling of self? So… “decision time” is near. But… it doesn’t have to be so big. We all face choices every day. Some seem big, and some seem small. But each one shapes and forms us. And most decisions are not forever. The other thing that is near is God. Don’t forget to bring God into your decisions! Some might call this prayer. Sometimes I have to just get out of the way of my own self and let God in. God is near you and with you always. Let the divine in. Give her space to play and create in your life! Amen. #ucclent2019 #rethinkchurch
Adding on to this post, I want to share my story that I tell all the seniors. In the beginning of my senior year of High School, I remember driving home and saying out loud and in quite a demanding way, “Ok God, here’s the deal. I’m gonna do everything I need to do to get into school. And you’re going to send me to the right one.” Well…the year went on and I applied to 8 schools. Seattle University was my back-up school as it was across the street from my high school (too close, I felt). And another school was “the” school. Well, I got into 7 of the 8 schools I applied to. The one I didn’t get into … the one school I felt was “THE” school. Clearly, God was telling me, this wasn’t the school for me. And in the end, by the spring, Seattle University did feel like the right choice. I said yes and things fell into place. For me, now when I look back, I see the way this school shaped and formed me and really was the beginning to my seeing myself as a leader and began to give me the skills that I use to this day. I want to say a quick Thank You to Seattle U (Go Redhawks!) for the way it shaped me, taught me about myself and about important skills and topics, the way it transformed my confidence and sense of self, and the way that the people there cared about me and my education.
So, again, we can have all the plans for our lives, but really, let God in and let God create in you and with you!