24 March 2012

It's up to you -- New York, New York

One World Trade Center
     I am riding back from New York this evening. It really was a sacred pilgrimage for me. New York is a tough city, and I feel empathy for those who live there. I can see why mother wanted us to leave. I imagine I would have become a strangely different person, perhaps more intimate with the streets and the darker side of life. I don't know if I would possess the knowledge I have now, or if I would be spiritual at all.
I wonder what it is like to be in active ministry in the city. I imagine it must be very challenging, but I wouldn't mind. If it's not challenging, it's not the work of God.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
     I've been thinking about education, and how I could be in a state school right now. I don't like how Adventist institutions are so far away from the city. People become superficial and complacent. I hate that. As a minister and educator in training, I need to be where the dirt is. I'm not upset that I haven't been able to experience the tougher side of life, but I'm upset I've been oblivious to the reality of life. In most cases, Adventist Education does not prepare one for real ministry. People will keep living in their white washed worlds but they are not aware of the social problems people face. We address gay marriage and abortion, but what about poverty and homelessness and hunger? Surely I know this isn't the first time Christianity has been called out for forgetting the men and women with whom Jesus lived.

16 March 2012

If I can make it there, I'll know I can make it anywhere

          I'm about thirty minutes north of the city now and for some reason I am fearful and anxious. The last time I was here was after September 11. Father was with me, and I safely knew he knew how to handle the city. As indepndent as I think I am, I'd rather not see this city alone this time either.
          This is a great problem I have. Back at Auburn I thought myself so mature I didn't think I needed my parents (on an emotional and social level). I was fine in boarding school, but I knew I really wasn't on my own. I was with colleagues. Now in college, there are times when I feel like a little boy, and I long to go back to mother and father.

The Hudson River
Midtown from the Queensboro Bridge

I'm going to be a part of it -- New York, New York

     I've been on a train headed to New York since midnight last night. I've passed through Ohio, Pennsylvania, eastern and upstate New York. It's been feeling like a sacred pilgrimage to my birthplace. I haven't been out here in the East in a decade. Passing through these farmlands and rural towns has given me a perspective of a middle America I haven't seen in a long time.