Some Things That Are Awesome…

Another busy weekend as the semester winds to an end…our final gathering of first year/potential leaders was on friday…immediately afterwards we held our final leadership community of the school year…REUNION, our church partner celebrated its 5 year anniversary…and on sunday we honored (slash mourned) our graduates. Lots to celebrate and reflect on!

BU leadership developement:

Leadership Community Dreams:

Baseball Wisdom

I am a huge baseball fan and I love stories like Phillip Humber’s. I also loved this article by Tom Verducci about Humber. In it he talks a little bit about the art of coaching pitchers at the major league level. He says that every pitching coach has access to the same kind of knowledge…there’s no magic that one coach has that none of the others have. What makes the difference then is this:

“It’s the coach who gets the player when he’s ready to learn who will wind up getting credit for that player’s success.”

Conferences and Coming Home

Things I dislike about conferences:

  • People that brag about all the great things they’ve done
  • People who don’t ask questions
  • Activities organized by extroverts that make everyone talk
  • Listening to bad presentations
  • Being away from home

Things I like about conferences:

  • Space to dream
  • Interaction with ideas
  • Creativity and thinking
  • Listening to great presentations
  • Coming home and seeing Amy after being gone for 3 days!

Dallas, Full Circles, and High Church

It’s been a whirlwind week! Two full days of work last Monday and Tuesday followed by an early morning flight to Dallas for part 2 of our Leadership Network experience. Our time with the University Ministry Leadership Community continues to be an overall good experience (there are some frustrations…I sat through maybe the worst presentation on multi-cultural ministry I’ve ever heard in my life). I think we are seeing some tremendous progress organizationally as we “operatationalize our values” so that we actually do what we say we do, as opposed to saying a bunch of nice things.

Saturday morning at 1:15 am I got on a plane and flew back to Boston, came home, took a 30 minute nap, made some coffee, then headed to BU for an Earth Day/Clean Up project with our students. Being around students was energizing which helped me make it through the day. The funny part of the experience was our project was at the Hale Reservation where I spent two summers with Bird Street Community Center’s camp program. It was a little weird to be back, but also fun to be able to show people around and even connect with an employee who remembered me. Felt like a full-circle moment for sure.

Finally, I got to be a reader at Marsh Chapel’s Interdenominational service on Sunday morning. Marsh Chapel functions as the center for Spiritual Life at Boston University and it was a good moment to strengthen relationship with the school now that I am a campus minister at BU. I usually do the offering moment at REUNION so it was kind of funny/ironic to be the “Offertory” reader during the Marsh service. Very different context and yet a similar role.

A couple more weeks and the pace slows down!

Quote of the Week…

This is from one of my former professors at Western. Steve Korch was my favorite prof in seminary mostly because of his passion for people. He (re)wrote a book recently, now under the title The Presence, and it’s good. Here’s some great stuff on being able to laugh at life (and yourself):

“There is a kind of laughter that comes from seeing the foibles of life for what they are. It is an emotional release that surges forth when we don’t make every detail of life a serious issue. God says it is good for our soul to laugh (Prov. 17:22).

Chesterton writes: ‘Laughter has something in common with the ancient winds of faith and inspiration; it unfreezes pride and unwinds secrecy; it makes men forget themselves in the presence of something greater than themselves.'”


Some Thoughts on Running

I have found there to be an inextricable link between how I feel (emotionally, mentally, spiritual) and how much I exercise. When I moved to Colorado six years ago I quickly got into trail running, which has evolved into urban/street running here in Boston.

Good weeks and bad weeks have an eery correlation to how many runs I can get in.

Is the connection simply a matter of exercise versus no (or little) exercise? Or is there more to it than that? I’ve thought about this a lot, but a conversation I had on Sunday put words to a truth I had known but not been able to express.

I was talking to a visitor at REUNION who was in town to watch a friend run the Boston Marathon. We chatted for a while about running and I mentioned how I used to hate running. Even as a soccer player I struggled to find motivation to get out there and run. It wasn’t until I was about 26 that running even became remotely enjoyable (and a lot of that had to do with the beauty of Durango).

After I mentioned that my new friend said this: “Well, when you are younger, running is a struggle because we don’t like to be alone with ourselves for too long.”

Oh man! How true is that. And that put to words something I’ve been feeling for a while: running is not just good for me physically it provides one of the rare spaces where there is no phone, no music, no computer, no conversations, no books, no tv, no distractions.

Just me and myself. Just me and God.

More and more I see that people (of all ages) struggle with this. We are always “on”, we are always connected. We don’t like to be alone. We really don’t like to be alone with ourselves.

But my soul craves this space, and so I run not just to exercise but to get to know myself better, to disconnect, and hopefully to hear from God. That’s why I run.

Quick Hitters

Updates in bullet form:

  • Headed to Dallas, TX early Wednesday morning for round two of the Leadership Networks University Leadership Community. This never seems to come at a convenient time in the semester, but I am grateful to get some time away and focus on the big picture for a couple of days.
  • We are deep into preparing our leadership teams for the fall. I’m excited to see new students coming on board and excited to be a part of the Sojourn story next year.
  • We held a baggo (or cornhole) tournament at UMB on Friday (picture). Met some new people and had some good times with old friends!
  • Tons of writing and prep to do today: it’s a short week!