Saturday, August 24, 2013

Inside my 1L year: Why am I in law school?

            My first week of law school has come to a close and a sigh of relief and exhale can now commence. A lot of people around me, and myself have been saying,” We survived our first week of law school!”  It sounds neat to say.  I believe some people actually believed that during the first week a few 1L’s (1st year law students) would get sucked into a black hole in the library, or even worse open a contracts book and give up right there.  All of us, that I know of, have advanced past week one.  A week filled with staying at school from 7-5 reading and reading for Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Legal Practice. 
            Coming into law school I was in what I felt to be a good spot.  My summer, did not go as planned, but I ended up finishing it not at a law firm as intended, but at a summer camp where I really got back to who I was.  But I, and I’m sure a lot of kids my age, was questioning did I make the right choice in choosing law school.  I really wanted to go to seminary, to further my knowledge in the classroom in God’s word.  Challenging my faith with scripture, and deep questions that we all know as mere humans cannot answer.  But, as crazy as it sounds I believe I’m where I need to be. 
            An attorney during an orientation was talking about a story where he went to Target during his lunch break to grab a few things for the house.  He was dressed up in a suit, and an elderly woman stopped him and asked if the attorney was a preacher.  The woman added that she was in need of some prayers.  The attorney responded, “No mam, I’m a lawyer.”  To which the woman replied sympathetically, “Oh, you’re on the other team.”
            Stereotypes are there for a reason.  I’m hoping to break some stereotypes.  Ultimately, I believe that’s why I chose law.  My reasoning was quite simple, after all I was an accounting major.

            Go to seminary:     X  Minister     __ Attorney

            Go to law school:    X Minister     X Attorney

You, I, can be a minister in whatever context we want to be, or anywhere we end up.  Rick Lytle, Dean of ACU’s College of Business, said it best, “More people go to work than to church.” Another tidbit of wisdom I really enjoyed came from my Torts professor this past week when he was describing his career prior to teaching.  “Legal issues, after medical issues are some of the most serious troubles people will face.  You all will help these people one day.”

            Being a minister and an attorney is what I want to be.  Helping those going through difficult times, times of uncertainty, and showing empathy and compassion no matter where the conversation turns.  So, I’m here in law school to further my faith, to ask those questions about where is God’s love in legal battles, and broken up families, in crimes of hate, in disputes of contract, people need help.  So, I’m here in law school to learn about God in this world. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Journey

The summer of 2013 can be described simply by, the journey.  What started as a summer geared towards increasing my knowledge in the field of law with an internship at a firm in Downtown Dallas gave me a lesson in the field of love.  Being surrounded by such Godly men and women serving at camp was such a blessing.  Pouring out for kids and seeing others deal with children, conflict, and of course the trials of love and hate were very fulfilling.  But, it’s over.  The weeks of singing songs, playing silly games and opening up with kids and each other is over.  Sure, there will be some of us who keep up with each other, but the intense community that so many of us enjoyed is over for the time being. We all go our separate ways to our different colleges, jobs, and homes where the fever of camp will soon wind down.  The highs we all felt, emotionally and spiritually soon too will die down. 
Love is a tricky thing that I walk from time to time.  It’s easy to love at times and hard to accept.  A quote I love from a recent book I read says,
"The leap of faith always means loving without expecting to be loved in return, giving without wanting to receive, inviting without hoping to be invited, holding without asking to be held.”  Henri Nouwen

With camp, with kids, you learn to live this out.  To love on kids who no doubt will never be consistent with how they show their emotions to you.  But, even we, even myself, are all guilty of seeking so much in return for how we think we do.  If only we desired little, the truth to contentment.  In my relationships I want to be acknowledged, I want to be loved back, invited out to dinner, held with compassion when need be, but life is not about reciprocation.  Which, I fail at time after time.  Life and love is about loving without expectations.  Jesus did this so well time and again. 
            I’m so thankful that God doesn’t treat me the way I treat Him.  Shallow in my thoughts, hungry for my power, and eager for the light.  I want too much, and desire the wrong in my life at times.  At camp I was without my phone, TV, power and position, but I was with so much love.  I choose love anytime and all the time.  Community and friends who seek after God so much want the best not for themselves, but for those they are serving that is what camp is all about.  Taking a leap of faith to show kids who a lot a time are without love is what it’s all about.  Camp is singing silly songs, getting pied in the face, and dunking kids in the water, it is about showing kids community.  Community that invites to laugh, cry, and experience the joys of this life, while learning to cope from the struggles.  Life is always a journey.