dimanche 23 juillet 2006

In isolation

I have been largely unavailable to the world for the last few weeks - which is good and bad. But thanks to Mara for her comment (so, what are you doing now? what's the paper for? what's the big plan for your life? etc.), I'll be more than happy to reply while I have this bit of time.

My here and now is Calgary. I haven't had a chance to write a prayer letter in a while so it's funny when I run into people at church or elsewhere and they go, "Oh! You're back. I thought you were still in Quebec!" I even had a friend email me and say they were heading out east and that they'd love to meet me over there. Whoops, I suppose my communication skills have been faltering since I've gotten back.

The city is great; it's nice to be home. Except that my every hour is consumed with none other than homework. The big paper that I had to write was my ethnography and I find it funny that I'm in the only major at my college where it is required that two large papers are written. At first, I thought my thesis was the longest paper I had ever written in my life but this one surpassed it by another 25 pages. I shouldn't complain though - writing both of those papers have taught me tons and it's been awesome to integrate what I've learned from many of my classes.

And yet, I still have a huge cloud looming over me. I have a distance ed course that I need to finish within a few weeks. Because of complications with my degree program and my school's scheduling of classes, I was required to take this one course from another institution. Well, let's just say I could never do an entire program via DE. One course has been a nightmare enough for me - I've travelled back and forth so many times this year that I haven't given it the attention it deserves.

I'm going to be spending every waking hour (again) slaving over my assignments for this class so I can finally get my degree, otherwise I won't receive advanced standing at graduate school. That is my primary concern right now, because I don't want to lose an entire semester (and the finances for it) taking introductory courses. So, it's been stressful but I trust that God will help me to accomplish what needs to get done.

The bad part about this homework seclusion has been that I've not kept in contact with anyone. I was supposed to meet several people when I came back but I'm putting all that off until late August. I didn't think anything was wrong with this but today at church, the sermon was about how Jesus viewed people. Our pastor referred to the gospel narratives where Jesus and His disciples would be travelling somewhere and along the way, people would ask for healing and salvation. These people could have been seen as distractions and interruptions but Jesus stopped to make the time for them and to truly care for these people.

Well this past month, that has been how I've viewed people in general. Distractions that I didn't need, meetings that got in the way of my homework. How selfish of me! This homework problem was my fault in the first place; other people had nothing to do with it. I had no idea I was becoming so task-oriented and not in a healthy way. But I'm thankful that I've seen how much of a sin that has been; now I need to ask forgiveness from a lot of the people I've not responded to! I'm going to push on in my course work but I'll do my best to be a lot more open to God's timing rather than fiercely holding onto my own.

And for the big life plan? I have absolutely no idea. After seminary, it's one huge question mark. I'm hoping this question mark somehow includes Montreal :)

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