September has come and gone, and the fellows program at Theological Horizons is in full swing. We got the opportunity to get to know the members of our group at both the kick-off dinner as well as at our first monthly Monday night gathering featuring Mike Guthrie. Mike spoke on the well-known parable of the lost son, a story told by Jesus in response to the Pharisees' grumbling, "this fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them" (Lk 15:2). I think Jesus' following stories, first of the lost sheep, the lost coin, then the prodigal son and his brother, reveal His consistent pursuit of the lost because of His grace. Whether you are the one following the law, the one squandering your father's wealth in reckless living, or somewhere in between, Jesus is there to remind you, "you are always with me, all that is mine is yours" (Lk 15:31).
After discussing this parable as a group, Mike left us with a challenge. He first shared his purpose statement that he explained serves as a reminder of his mission for God, and then challenged us to think about doing the same. In beginning the process of writing my own mission statement, I have realized the complexity in trying to declare a purpose on life. So many questions exist, the ultimate one being: what does God expect from me? The only answer I can give confidently is I do not know. As the fellows program at Theological Horizons continues this school year, hopefully these tough questions can be explored in a thorough and honest way, as I have a feeling they will.
Anna Nott is a fourth year studying Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. She is in 2014-2015 Horizons Fellow and works part-time in the After School Enrichment Program for St. Anne's Belfield School. She describes herself as observant, creative, blunt at times, thankful, perceptive, proactive and resourceful.