Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Prime the Pump

There is much that I could say now at the end of this school year 2008. There is too much to say and if you know me, I’d really like to sit down to write it out and say it all in one blog entry. However, that would be asking too much from you my readers and I honestly don’t have the capacity to come to terms with all that is swirling around inside and around me. So, I’ll try to be brief and just prime the pump for some more blogging in the near future and throughout the summer. I haven’t had very much time to really be my full self this past school year—meaning, that I haven’t been very reflective. I confess that I haven’t protected my time for contemplation and I’m now reaping the consequences. The consequences are a lack of focus and a kind of numbness, an anxious unsettledness and an exaggerated state of scatter-brained-ed-ness. I’ve been living and working beyond my own internal means. Writing is an extremely helpful way for me to come to terms with all that has happened this year.

That is not to say that I’m rotting on the vine. There are times when we are pushed beyond ourselves and the fruit of our lives becomes a result of not what we might have in the present moment to give, but a result of who we have become in the broad scheme of our lives. This hasn’t been a time for manufacturing new ideas, art and teachings. This has been a time to trust the Spirit that led me here and to allow the Spirit to inspire and sustain what I’ve already got. I’ve been calling it a season of convergence. And maybe there is something true about the reason why Jesus was in his early thirties when his ministry became strikingly public.

If I sound like I’m beating around the bush thus far, it’s because there is too much for me to get into. It is easier to paint in broad strokes. Let’s just say that I’ve always been a restless soul. My twenties were hard. I experimented with a lot of things: teaching high school and middle school, graduate school, preaching, song writing, recording, worship leading, some graphic design. Oh, and lets not forget the good jobs: lawn care, outdoor sporting good retail salesperson, insurance agent office administrator…et al. Susanna and I are almost done with our third year together. We’ve moved to a new place and begun a home together for two of those years now. We both are employed in places that value our gifts and allow us to dream and be creative. We are forming deep friendships—sigh—finally. And right now as I sit here the Spring in Holland Michigan is more than delightful. Oh, and our two puppies are pretty much the best things we have ever spent money on. Check this.

All of my last few drops of emotional awareness were spent at our last Gathering service a week ago. The music was led by all nine of our graduating seniors. I think “electric” is the best word to describe the evening and I use that not to refer to the sound of our music but to allude to the energy in the room. It was electric thankfulness and it was intoxicating. When we sang the Doxology at the end of the evening, I spent my last tears. This evening I’m smiling and still thankful, but it will take me a few weeks, the summer perhaps, to be able to come to terms with what has really happened this year. Convergence is the best word for now.

I’ll conclude by observing the things I am looking forward to:

On Friday the 9th of May, I will be flying to Seattle with Sam Pedigo and Andy Kadzban, recent graduates who will be sticking around next year to be my interns. We will spend a night or two in Seattle and then head up to Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. to take New Testament Foundations together. I have only three more classes left to finish in my Masters of Christian Studies degree program. I hope to be done this time next year. Sam and Andy are taking the class as an exploration of Regent as a school they might want to transfer to after their time with me. Susanna is teaching a creative writing class at Earlham College in Indiana starting next Monday the 12th. She will join us in Vancouver on the 24th.

We will then return to Holland on the 31st of May. On June 2 I’ll head out with a group of professors and students to spend a week in Montana on a rustic ranch participating in a workshop developing Senior Seminar curriculum. One of my favorite authors, David James Duncan, will be joining us for a couple days.

I then return to Holland on June 8. The rest of the summer will be spent studying, writing, gardening, going to the beach, walking my dogs and working on music both for next school year in chapel and my own music. I hope to finish the Ordinary Neighbors record that Susanna and I have been working on now for over two years.

We have a couple groups of friends who have been threatening to make the trip up to see us this summer. If that is you, let’s stinkin’ get it on the sinkin’ calendar. If it is not you, please please feel free to come visit. If you are a Hope College student around here this summer, you are welcome too anytime! Seriously, people need to come hang out with us.

Here is to a great SUMMER!!!!