Not part of a nursery rhyme, fairy tale or other children’s story — coddiwomple is a very serious word. So serious, in fact, that it is part of a Facebook meme, where I first learned its definition.
To “coddiwomple” is to travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination.
I’m not sure about you, but I think the majority of the time I coddiwomple through life. This can be stressful as we meet people who ask us,“What are you going to major in?” “What do you hope to do with your major?” “What do you want to do after graduation?” “What do you want to do with your life?”
For me, this final question did not stop going through my mind just because I received a certain degree or even a particular job.
As I coddiwomple through life I wonder how in fact I can do it purposefully when I do not know the destination. So much of our life seems to be about “knowing the destination.” We create concrete goals such as, “I will do this training program so I can run this particular race.” “I will save this amount of money so I can purchase that particular gadget.” “I will take these classes so I can graduate with a certain major.”
Goals are great and motivating, but is the final destination the only thing that can bring purpose?
When I look to stories in the Bible there are many individuals and communities that coddiwomple. I would argue that the disciples who stopped everything to follow Jesus were coddiwompling. They did not know exactly where this was going to lead (and even when Jesus tried to tell them, they tried to deny that ending), but they found purpose in the journey and more so in the relationship.
I find when I coddiwomple I am free to see how God is moving in the everyday moments and how I might be called to be in this day and in this space with these people. I am reminded that God isn’t always calling me into a very specific role, but God calls me into a way of being: To act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly (Micah 6:8).
I hope that your time at Valparaiso University can be a coddiwomple. And I hope that you may find purpose each day in the relationships, the studying, and the discovering of the person you are called to be, no matter what role you find yourself in.
Sept. 12, 2018
University Pastor James A. Wetzstein and Deaconess Kristin Lewis, Interim Campus Minister, take turns writing weekly devotions for the Chapel of the Resurrection. You can contact Dcs. Kristin here.