So I'm back on campus now...as usual I will probably only post once or twice during the school year, but I thought I'd let everyone know the case. I'm really excited about this new school year and what it might bring. New friendships, new knowledge, new opportunities. It's all endless really--and it's great.
I actually started off my first week by being absent Thursday and Friday though. Thinking back it may be my first time to ever miss class like that, but after this weekend I can honestly say I would have skipped 2 weeks of school to go to The Calling. It was one of the best experiences I've had in a long, long time, and certainly the best event of my entire summer. Kudos to all the men who worked at my church and from other churches...they were great. Basically, The Calling of Men is a 4-day encampment where older, godly men minister to younger men. The purpose is to teach young men what it means to embrace their God-given, Christ-destined masculine souls, in the face of a culture that is causing young men to lose their identity. The entire weekend we were being served and loved, but the real jewel actually turned out to be the structure of the camp. We were so busy there was almost no free time and yet no one seemed to notice, in an instant I felt so close to everyone around me, it was so connected that I felt like I was at home stepping off the bus when we arrived. The weekend just kept getting better and better too. We had about 4-6 speakers a day intermixed with sports and special activities and the topics ranged all over the map with biblical masculinity. Coming into the camp I had a billion questions and apprehensions about my future and all the events that are nearing in my life, like getting married, starting a family, getting a job. Coming out of the camp I feel like I've been given a very clear direction in life. I had heard a lot of the things mentioned because my Dad is great like that and always gives me very applicable life advice, but I've never heard it put together in such a clear, coherant way. For once, I'm feeling very at peace about the strange future ahead...and again I'm getting excited about all those possibilities.
This was a wonderful way for God to break the funk I got into last semester. Basically, I was working so hard last semester that I had no free time. My friendships suffered, my health suffered, my sleep suffered. In fact, practically everything suffered but my grades which turned out great, but that's the problem with me. My hyperfocus. Whatever is the predominant, important thing to me becomes the center of my hyperfocus, a focus so intense that almost everything else needing my attention suffers. It's not like I try to do this...I just do what I need to get done, but I now believe that there could have been a healthier balance to my ordeal. For instance, I was so absorbed in my school-work that whenever I did finish it all, all I could do was sit there and feel lost...because I'd forgotten how to use my free time. Up to my last final in the Spring I was pumped and diligent, studying for hours and pouring over problems and methods...making sure I knew the concepts backwards and forwards. Then, when I walked out of my last final I had this odd sinking feeling come over me, almost immediately after the thought of: I'm done! Came this thought: "Man, now what do I do with my life."
I had become so lost in my school-work that it had become normal to race through learning. It's all that I seemed to have time for. It took me the entire summer, and until this camp to realize that this mindset was still affecting me...and I had the hardest time relaxing without feeling tense about it until this weekend. Did I say it was great? I really can't describe why, but those older men really know something about the masculine soul, they knew how to engage us and challenge us. And yank every one of us out of the illusions we'd allowed to wrap around us. Mine was the all-consuming mindset, and I learned to relax and start developing myself in every direction again. It's a much better feeling than simply doing awesome at my schoolwork. I actually feel as if I'm returning to what I already knew which is funny, but in a way true. I've always been concerned about my growth in every dimension, the most important being my spiritual walk with God, and yet I was side-tracked somehow by the busyness of life. It's an illusion I hope never to be wrapped in again. I'm much happier when I'm growing into the man God always intended me to be...anything that stalls me in that is just not worth it. wouldn't you agree? ~Dan Midgett