Just Call Me “Bea”

April 30, 2013 — 1 Comment

I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember. I was baptized when I was seven and, except for the prototypical “wandering” that most cradle Christians engage in during their college years, I’ve always identified myself as “Christian” or a “follower of Jesus.” But you can call me, “Bea.”

The image of the lamb in the video above, bounding back and forth as her owner calls her name, but never quite sure where the voice is coming from, describes my relationship with Jesus well. I hear my name being called, but it seems like I’m always mistaking where it’s calling me to. So, I bound with enthusiasm from one place to another hoping that, like Bea in the video, I’ll eventually get it right and end up finding the arms of my Shepherd.

Until then, however, my life must look pretty comical! I bounded out of my undergraduate degree in theater into a seminary master’s program in practical theology. Then, I bounded again from seminary into college campus ministry. Then, hearing my name called again, I bounded onto the staff of a megachurch. Then I bounded into a doctoral program. Then I bounded across the country to work at the seminary from which I’m receiving my doctorate. In each of these instances, I was sure that I was hearing my name called and I responded with gusto! But there’s something in me that makes me think I’ve just been bounding back and forth across the hall… that I’ve not gotten it quite right, yet.

Do you ever feel that way?

At this point, a good writer or blogger would have three simple takeaways for the reader. Brilliant, yet simple insights that would cause the post to be shared among friends, maybe even go viral. At this point, a good practical theologian would write about all the shepherd/flock/lamb imagery in the Bible, ending in some mind-blowing insight. On my good days, I’m that blogger or I’m that theologian. On my best days, I might even be both. Today, however, I am just a silly lamb, listening for the voice of the Shepherd, and ready to bound off again, hoping that it will someday make sense!

Anderson Campbell

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  • http://www.facebook.com/johnstaufferdr John Stauffer

    Good Morning (Bea) Dr Campbell, I feel your pain or is it just your bounding. I have bounded out of full time church ministry to being an attender and in June will bound into Samaritan Health in Corvallis to spend the summer as a CPE intern. I turn 70 May 6, and will most likely continue to bound following my summer. It is not the bounding that is worrisome to me, it is in the landing and not responding to the current call. I have never stood in awe of people who stay in one place for twenty years and then stated that they wished that they had bounded. You have done good in each landing and maybe wondered if you had done good when bounding again. I served ten years during my two degree sessions as GFES as interim pastor at three churches. They have all finally settled on new pastors, bounding from one to another after I bounded out to something else. As I see it , if I do God’s work as I feel it is at the time and I do not leave damage behind I shall continue to be that way. I do not see the process any different than the person who finds satisfaction to their passion in teaching at several universities at once and as a guest speaker at a retreat while writing a new book. I beleive you are a man of God and I hope that as you bound you remain bonded to Christ.