Boring Work

The past few weeks I have had to work on a few things that have not been the most enjoyable. Some of the projects seem like busy work, others require editing, and still others are just tedious. I find it really hard to see purpose in work that is just boring and that I have no interest doing.

 

Pastoring

The transition from the pastorate to full-time academics has been interesting. From the purely technical side of things, I have had to learn how to speak and write to a different audience. Where before I could make grand sweeping claims (that were true but I had not proven definitively), now I must be much more modest with my conclusions. In a sermon I could assume most people held at least the some of the same basic beliefs; when writing now I am more cognizant that I can take nothing for granted. It has been fun to make this transition. I have been challenged. I like my new milieu, yet there are hard parts to it as well.

Spring Time

The other day I was walking into school and started to smell something. It was faint, hardly noticeable, and in the frenetic environment of a city easily missed. As I walked, I kept thinking to myself, "I know this smell." I couldn't quite figure it out. Then it hit me - the smell of grass. You know that smell you get it right as the grass is beginning to grow or shortly after you have mowed your lawn. Growing up that was the fragrance of Spring.

 

Outside Looking In

I remember the day we got on a plane and headed to Edinburgh. There was excitement, nervousness, tears, and anticipation. It was a whole new adventure. We had no clue what we were walking into. We were leaving behind friends, family, and a life that we had grown to love. All things considered, we were in a good place at that moment. And yet, we moved to Edinburgh.

Longing for Home

When I was going to on the mission field, Mission to the World (MTW) required me (and all the missionaries going on the field at the time) to go through a pre-field training. It was a really great experience. I learned about language learning, adapting to being on the field, learning to be a learner, and many other important issues for life as missionary. The one topic that was mentioned, though not discussed in depth, was cultural fatigue or in some cases, homesickness. This portion of the training has stuck with me, and I am regularly reminded of it.

Living in Small Spaces

Many of you might remember the difficulties we had finding a place to live when we arrived in Edinburgh. Not only was it at the tail end of their International festival (a big music and arts festival every year held in Edinburgh) but it was also the beginning of the school year which meant that every student in the world was arriving in Edinburgh and looking for a place to live. Okay – slight exaggeration, but it certainly felt like it. As we were beginning our flat search it quickly became evident the we were about to embark on a period of small space living.

 

Learning a Language

So, in August we moved to Scotland. I knew that things would be different, but I thought it would be an easier transition than when I moved to Colombia. I thought - at least I know the language. Looking back, that assumption makes me laugh. The longer I am here the more I realize I don't always know what is being said. I am not as confident that I know the language being spoken.

Friends

Having lived overseas a couple different times, I have found that life can get quite lonely. Interestingly, when I first moved out of the US, social media was starting to take off. It seemed like a great way to stay connected to friends. Yet as time has gone on what I have found is that instead of bringing people together, more often than not social media pushes us apart.

Worship that Forms Us

G.K. Beale's great book You Are What You Worship walks us through a biblical theology of worship. The title is self-explanatory; as humans we become like that which we worship. James K.A. Smith does the same thing in a slightly more accessible way in You Are What You Love. What both Beale and Smith pick up on is a truth that we so often want to forget. The things we love most are the things that fundamentally shape us.