Room at the Table
I am a clinical professor of nursing at a large, public university. I love my job. My students are creative, innovative, curious, and individualistic. There is a spark in the air I breathe every day because of them. Working at a university lends itself to so many unique opportunities and there is this underlying current which says that anything (truly anything) is possible.
That being said, my job is also very taxing. Students can be draining. Colleagues can be cruel. Vice versa. Time is precious and it seems there’s never enough of it to accomplish what needs to be done…
But what I have found to be the most difficult aspect of my role is that the general philosophy of a university at large is directly opposed to what I believe as a believer in Yaweh…
In a university setting, to quote one of my colleagues, “intellectual property is our currency.” In other words, I am only worth what I bring to the table. I am only as valuable as my ideas. I am dispensable, and if I do not “produce” then I am in danger of losing my position.
Moreover, this mentality didn’t begin when I entered the university setting. I’ve believed some version of it my entire life. I’ve felt that I am only as much as I offer. The world around me… really around all of us… is constantly whispering that our worth is directly related to our productivity. Thus Satan’s serpent tongue slices truth and devours intimacy again and again. And I despise him for it.
How grateful I am that this philosophy is contrary to what Yaweh speaks to, in, and over me.
I am not what I bring to the table.
I am a daughter of the Most High God.
I am a chosen individual who belongs to a chosen people.
A royal priest who belongs to a royal priesthood.
A holy native of a holy nation.
A saint. I am a saint.
I belong to Yaweh and He gives me my worth.
He has called me from utter chaos and complete darkness into His inexplicable peace and glorious light.
I am His. He is mine. This is the truth. Hallelujah.
So now I’m slowly learning how to come and simply sit at the table. It’s not about what I bring. I’m learning to receive the feast that’s already been prepared for me. I’m learning how to enjoy the meal. I’m learning how to break the bread and drink the wine and engage in community with other saints. This in turn draws my face upwards and allows me to gaze on the face of my gracious host.
Yaweh has invited me to the banquet table and it is absolutely lovely. Come join me here. There’s room enough for you.