Leaving Home

I have traveled abroad dozens of times on business. When you know all the flight attendants by name on particular airline routes, you are probably flying too much. But this time was different. We went to seminary together as a family and it was a great adventure for all of us. The business travel was all just so much road warrior stuff. But this time was different.

First there was leaving the puppy. Gracie has become a solid member of the household. She is an adorable Labrador retriever puppy. I will miss a month of her early life. There is the purpose of this trip. In some ways it is still poorly defined. In a larger sense it is a spiritual growth time for a sixty-five year old. It is a time to face the unknown and the all too familiar. It is a time to have that eschatological feast where Gabriel holds up the twin mirrors of who you are and who God made you to be. 

This time is different because what I learn may demand personal struggle and change. The learning could be a challenge for my parish. There is no guarantee about any of this. While I am not afraid, I am concerned. That I may not be up to the task. That I may not like what I learn and what I need to do next. I imagine that the prophets of old may not have been eager to deliver what God told them to say to the king. That is my apprehension.

After twenty four hours of travel, I will land in Athens tonight and make my way downtown for a decent night’s rest. It is 1:00 am in Oklahoma and 6:00 AM over England. In the weeks ahead, I plan to be much closer to the church than 36,000 feet. Happy Monday everyone.

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