In the words of that great American philosopher Forest Gump
“life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Or as my late great grandmother used to say “life is unpredictable because the Lord works in mysterious ways.” However you state it, the point is we never know completely where life is going to take us. We may have some indication of how we would like our lives to unfold and we may in fact get a lot of what we want out of life, but the hard knock truth is there are few real certainties in life.
In my own life I can bear witness to this truism about life. Over the 27 years of my life on this earth I have been fortunate to experience countless things that I did not plan for or couldn’t have predicted. And not all of these experiences have been favorable. In the words of those lyrical geniuses (and my momma’s favorite musical artists) Frankie Beverley and Maze , my life has been full of “joy and pain, sunshine and rain.” Whatever the case, I’m glad to be alive despite the curveballs life has thrown; and the truth is I’m better because of it.
If you had asked me 5 years ago where I’d be today I would have told you that “I would be finished seminary, in a doctoral program, borderline broke, married with a child on the way, 5 pounds lighter, have written my first book, serving at a house church and teaching at a Christian College or living in a monastery, reading the scriptures, chanting hymns, eating only fish, and doing manual labor to the glory of God every day. And yes, the monastery
was seriously an option (5) years ago. Thank God time is filled with swift transition.
Well, five years later, my life is somewhat like I thought it would be and a lot NOT like I imagined. I am currently not in a doctoral program, not married and have fathered no children, haven’t published a book, not serving at a house church, not teaching at any college or living in a monastery and I’m not broke (praise sweet baby Jesus!). On the other hand, I have graduated from college and seminary which is the only things I correctly predicted would happen. (Go figure)
So what has happened? How is life?
Honestly, it’s pretty darn good! In addition to graduating from seminary with honors, I also completed an advanced studies Masters degree from Emory University in Atlanta this past month and I plan to enter a doctoral program fall (2011). Though I haven’t published a book I am currently writing one and hopefully will publish it by next spring. I’m not serving at a house church but I’m the pastor of a growing mainline denominational church in (South) metro Atlanta with a super-great staff and amazing members. I’m not teaching at any college but I teach two bible classes every week and lecture often on religion and culture in various places and I’m in constant conversation with brilliant young emerging religious leaders all the time. I’m not living in a monastery but occasionally my apartment feels like one. I make pretty good money so I’m not broke and I’m not married but I’m working on it!!!
And if all this were not enough, I’m currently writing this post on vacation in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in my life: The sweet sugar city of the Caribbean, the island of St. Kitts .
All and all, though life is not what I expected it would be. I’m blessed and truly thankful for all that has occurred in my life, good and bad. And if you’re reading this, I invite you to join me in gratitude to God for all life’s many blessings in your life and mine!
Compassionately and thankfully yours, Billy Michael Honor