I was applying for a job when I sought the recommendation of a colleague whom I deeply admired. He agreed and later invited me to his office to show me what he wrote. It was embarrassing. One great thing after another…so much I hardly recognized who he was talking about.
He asked me what I thought and I replied “Don’t you have any reservations?” He said, “Yes, but I’ll just tell you directly. Don’t sour so easily. You have seen and experienced quite a lot. But don’t get down on the world.”
In preparation for All Saint’s Day, I have been recounting the many influential people in my life. Some are figureheads who were simply present at vital times in my life. This particular time, the saintliness came through in particular advice that has stuck with me ever since. I did not get that job, yet entered seminary teeming with hope and confidence that God is still doing new things. That advice buoyed me through a discouraging ordination process. Now things are looking up and that advice seems all the wiser on the other side of struggle.
I have many inspirations, and I am ever indebted for this ‘sour note’.