Wisely, Larry suggested we spend the first Saturday after the end of our first year reflecting. We move on so quickly– it is good to stop and remember. What better place to stop and reflect than a fabulous coffee shop on the coast?!
Here is a sampling of the things I am remembering from finishing my first year here (in no particular order):
1. Julian of Norwich. I am certain that I will love her tremendously when given the opportunity to meet. She was recommended to me by both my spiritual director/friend in the Pierce Fellowship as well as my church history professor, Dr. Adams. I spent a significant amount of time last semester hearing from her in her autobiography, Revelations of Divine Love. The primary thing I walked away with from her testimony was the power in reflection on how the Lord has revealed himself to us.
2. The need to retell God’s story. This was Dr. Carol Kaminski‘s commission to the graduates of GCTS this year. She is a powerful story-teller! We took her January term Old Testament Survey. It was a hard class to cover in 2 weeks, but we powerfully experienced the Lord as author of the most incredible story ever written. I especially grew to love books I had barely read before: Ezekiel is scandalous!!; Proverbs has valuable lessons; Jonah encourages us to see God’s love for the Gentiles, etc.
3. A new found passion for running! We love that the people here in the Northeast are outside in every season! I have taken up running, exploring every nook and cranny of the Northshore. I have found this to not only be healthy, but relaxing, reflective, and illustrative of what it is to persevere in the Christian life. It probably should have been that my greatest feeling of accomplishment came Monday after turning in my last paper of the year; instead, it was the 4.6 mile run I made the same weekend! I especially love how ironic this is because in September, when I first started jogging, I was teaching a group of college students telling them I would never know a runner’s high. I still haven’t experienced it, but I feel like I’m a huge step closer!
4. The love of discovery. One of our classes, Educational Ministry in a Cultural Perspective, required an ethnography project. While our official topic was fascinating, we found ourselves discovering even more about ourselves and inter-culturally with our Korean teammate. So not only do I love baklava, I also love Korean citron tea!
5. In partnership with Julian’s need to reflect, I have also discovered the gift of Sabbath rest. We were instructed by our Pierce training not just to stop– that is only the beginning of Sabbath. But also, we need to remember, embrace who God has made us to be, and celebrate Him! Reflecting on Hebrews 6:9-11, Sue Currie encouraged us that “Sabbath gets us in touch with what’s waiting for us.” So we practice being who he made us to be, and celebrate him!
As mentioned, these five things are but a sampling. Deeper thoughts can be seen through previous blogs (which I posted through Gordon-Conwell’s website), and there will certainly be more reflections over the summer. I encourage you to take some time to reflect on your own past twelve months. God’s blessings to you in your pursuit of him. I would love to hear some of your favorite moments from the past year!