Tonight I am grateful for a busy and rewarding day.
For a morning class on Buddhism that had me imagining what it would be like to live in a world without desires.
For an afternoon class on Pastoral Care with Addictions that taught me how to offer hope to those who have a disease that causes them to give in to their desires, again, and again, and again.
And for an evening spent at the induction ceremony for the Jonathan Edwards Society, our school's honor society - which satisfied a desire I've had since returning to school ten years ago: the desire to receive recognition for my achievements.
I feel honored and blessed for having received the nomination.
But it would be dishonest not to acknowledge that receiving honors like this makes me feel good.
It feels good to have others validate what I've otherwise had to take on faith - that I have what it takes to lead a congregation.
It's not about the good grades - the church that hires me is not going to care about my seminary GPA; it's about the part that says I have "demonstrated capacity for leadership in church and community".
That's the part that I still have doubts about.
That's the part that I "desire" to have recognized because I have trouble seeing it within myself.
Desires can be good or bad.
Desires are good if they cause you to become a better person, student, pastor, partner, friend, Christian, child of God.
Desires are bad if they cause you to do the opposite.
Ironically, Jonathan Edwards knew a lot about such desires....He is after all, best known for his sermon entitled "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in which "God holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire."
Thank you Jonathan, for lending your name to the honor society that has recognized my desires.
I hope I do you proud.
A politically correct Jonathan Edwards