An end, a beginning

In 2007 I had my first book published. I went to my 10 year college reunion. Experienced another savage fire in the mountains.

I renewed contact with a valued professor from Fuller who invited me to pursue PhD studies. I applied. I took a class from this professor on Moltmann, read all of Moltmann’s major books, wrote a paper on Moltmann, was invited to give a presentation on Moltmann at a conference in 2008. Moltmann read my single book, wrote a wonderful little blurb for it, read my humble beginning attempts at writing about his work, and I received a PhD recommendation from Moltmann.

I took a class on the missional church with Alan Hirsch, who had just weeks before graciously consented to write the forward to my book. In the class I was curiously appointed to be the teaching assistant and I graded a lot of papers, immersing me even more in various views of emerging/missional theology and practice. I had left the church behind and I was back in the middle of it. People even invited me to join a weekly conversation about God and life, which I’m still wary to see as church, but am hopeful it might be a burgeoning spiritual community.

2007 was the year of re-engaging with the world more actively after several years of distancing. I had left the church to pursue Christ. I had left community to pursue wholeness. I had left rational pursuits to pursue dreams. God pulled me away and then in 2007 seemed to push me back a bit.

But only a bit. I end this year feeling halfway in all my being.

My application is submitted. But not accepted. I have no money for a PhD but that is the one opportunity pushed before me. I find a lot of encouragement, but all is vague and diffuse and lacking practical substance. I follow the open door as I wonder about doors that never seemed to open as I thought.

All year I felt more distant from God in my discipline and focus than in years past. I end the year noticing how much more at peace I am, feeling much more emotionally and spiritually mature. I became bored with angst in 2007.

I found new friends, became disenchanted with old friends, both leading me to discover friendships without expectations, accepting what is there and when. Loves were lost and found and misplaced and wrongly placed and resolved and left unresolved.

I end the year with nothing in my life more tangible than what I had at the beginning of the year. I end the year with everything in my life more hopeful than what I had at the beginning of the year.

I found great approval at high levels and great approval at the lowest, still lacking that far more broad middle place leaving me both curiously noticed and greatly ignored. I don’t know which is more real and valid.

I end 2007 feeling it was a good year, a year of openings and a year of beginnings and a year of possibilities and a year of progress inside and out.

I have high hopes for 2008, that what was begun will find new life, and what hasn’t yet started will begin.

Happy end of 2007. God bless 2008.

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