Different Place, Different Grace
By Matt Martens
Reflecting on my time as a Capital Fellow thus far, I am reminded of a term I learned while studying Arabic in college. The term ما شاء الله, pronounced “Mashah Allah” (think ‘ahh’ rather than ‘uh’,) is commonly used to mean two things— both fitting for how I am feeling at this point in the year. The most direct translation would read, “what God has willed has happened.” The second, more colloquial usage, expresses a feeling of awe or beauty regarding an event, person, or object. In other words: “Wow! Look at what God has done with this thing!” It is important to note that the name Allah is merely Arabic for the word God and is used to refer to the God of the Bible by Arabic-speaking Christians across the globe, but I digress.
So often, the lives of 20-something college graduates are evaluated by rigid standards of perceived stability and success. If you happen to fall outside of the six-figure-nine-to-five-lined-up-before-college-graduation cookie cutter, it can be hard to feel happy about where you are at in life as a young adult. It can also be quite isolating. Romans 12:3-6 offers a comforting reminder here:
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.”
The unique and wonderful thing about the Fellows program is two-fold and reflects the wisdom found in Romans 12. First, we are forging deep community within the body of Christ. Second, we are exploring why the aforementioned cookie cutter can be a fine goal IF that is what God has in store. But, to seek after “the job” without seeking the Lord’s will is to miss the mark. I am learning to lean into God and the plans spoken of in Jeremiah 29:11. I do not find myself in this place in life because I failed to satisfy some worldly standard. I am here because of the measure of grace assigned to me. What God has willed has happened, and he is continually teaching me to rest in that truth. ما شاء الله!
Pictures from the Week
Stephen and Max with a new friend
Matt's reaction to Stephen blowing bubbles at Capital Commons
Intergenerational Capital Pres Fairfax fellows-ship after church!
Know a Potential Capital Fellow?
We are actively building Season Seventeen! If you know a college senior or recent graduate that would benefit from this program, please let them know about our upcoming informational webinars. About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
The Capital Fellows have entered the home stretch of the fall semester - two more weeks and then some well-deserved time off. This is a busy season for them - papers to write for their seminary courses, personal assessments to complete, etc. Please be in pray for them to finish well and even enjoy the reflection that writing the papers can provide.
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About The Fellows Initiative
Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.
If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.
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