We are not an ignorant humanity that needs to be educated.
We are not a backwards humanity that needs progress.
We are a lost humanity that needs to be found.
We are a dead humanity that needs to be brought back to life.
— Ram Sridharan
I finally got a solid 8 hour sleep! Often things happen so fast, and there is so much to do, see, and learn at Urbana that I find less time to rest my head.
Yesterday as part of the Canadian Student Leaders Track, we examined the Canadian cultural context and began to wonder what might hold us back as the people of God in Canada. Our friend, Al Anderson, offered these issues to ponder:
Comfort. As Canadians, we love to be comfortable, and if our invitation from Jesus seems difficult, or costs us our comfort, we say no. He noted that as we arrive in St. Louis, our first questions are: Where will I sleep? And where will I eat?
Tolerance: While noting that tolerance is better than bigotry or hatred, it’s still a far cry from the Kingdom of God which involves love and reconciliation.
Niceness: Our deep rooted desire to avoid being seen as anything but polite prevents us from stepping out in service of others.
Thank you for your continued prayers. We need every one!
I was up at 1:00am to be at the airport on time. Three years ago I spent 78 hours in airports, trains, and planes to get here. This year I would not suffer delay and cancelation. I would however suffer waiting.
Nothing is open in Pearson airport that early. Least of all, customs. So I would wait. Being exhausted and seeing no one around, I decided to slip down to the arrivals level and grab a coffee. I know as a Christian, I must always be waiting, but a few minutes to tend to my sleepy brain wouldn’t hurt, right?
30 minutes later, a few hundred people had shown up. Now I was last in line. Lesson learned Jesus… lesson learned.
Checking in and going through customs was smooth. I always am fearful talking to border agents, they hold so much of my life in their hands, and I think they know that. But this lady was surprisingly pleasant for 4:30 in the morning. After rushing through security, once again, waiting. This time I thought I’d stick around.
Finally, I was off to America! First stop: Chicago for a brief layover.
Even though we landed early, I found myself having all but a few minutes to literally run through several terminals and make it to the very end of the B concourse. I applaud Chicago for inventing the ferris wheel, but apparently their technological marvels ceased there, since there wasn’t a single moving sidewalk to be found. I practically sprinted this journey with all my luggage in tow, stopping at the only two bathrooms I saw along this seemingly 5km stretch of terminal. Full. No time.
There was no waiting in Chicago, just rushing on to the tarmac and up the stairs onto a miniature plane to be whisked away to St. louis.
41 pleasant minutes later (thanks to JJ, our helpful flight attendant), I was in St. Louis!
And now I wait again, for staff to gather, for dinner to be served, for students to arrive tomorrow. As the season of advent came to a close yesterday, it seems I must still wait.
And I do. I wait for you Jesus. I wonder what you have in store for me and the students you love so deeply. I wonder what you may say to us. I wonder how your words will change us. What invitations await? What feasts will we enjoy? What new ways will you show us a Kingdom already around us, and yet to come to fruition?
I’ll wait. It’s worth the wait. I’ll try not to slip away for coffee. I know when you come, it’s like running through an airport. So much happens suddenly.
A prayer of waiting I was thinking of today:
This semester has brought about a lot of repentance in me, and in our community. Usually when I thnk about repentance, I think of that sinking feeling one gets when we know we’ve messed up. This semester though repentance has meant joy for us.