Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To go or not to go...that is the question

About a month ago I was asked if I would travel with other women in the ELCA to South Africa for a 2 week global seminar called "Women Building Global Community." My immediate response was YES! SEND ME! ...And then I found out the dates - 2 weeks in the middle of November (ie. right in the heart of the semester/quarter). While I didn't want to pass up this great opportunity, I also knew it wouldn't be easy to be gone for that amount of time during the school year. Just think of all things I'd be missing:

*I would miss my seminary class. Not only would I get behind on reading (would I really bring all those books with me across the world, and READ them?!), but there is also a paper due immediately upon my return...

*I would miss my social work class at the University of Chicago (I'm a dual degree student). They are on a quarter system still, so missing 2 out of 10 weeks is actually quite a bit!

*I would miss my social work internship. It is 24 hours a week, so making up 48 hours is going to be a lot of hours to make up.

*I would miss my cats. Being gone for 2 weeks is expecting a lot of my roommates isn't it?!

Well, even though I'll miss all of these things, I knew I couldn't pass up this opportunity to represent the ELCA in South Africa. That's the way God works - we don't always (or ever?) know where we'll be called next. I know that I'll have to work very hard to make up hours and classwork, but I also know it's worth it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

There's No Place Like Home!

The famous story of the Wizard of Oz finds our heroine Dorothy carried away from her home in Kansas by a twister and dropped into the Land of Oz. There she meets all kinds of new people, sees some pretty amazing things and yet all she wants to do is go home. She doesn’t consider staying in this incredible place or check out all the new things she's experiencing but instead is determined to find her way home at all cost including taking on the Wicked Witch head to head.

As a commuter student at LSTC, I frequently feel the same way. LSTC is not "home" for me. While on campus I study on the shelf, eat my meals in the refectory and sleep in the Commuter House across the street. When classes are finished on Thursday I hurry down to the garage to get on my way home before rush hour hits. I hop into my Ruby Red (seriously!) Toyota, click my heels three times and utter Dorothy's famous words "There's no place like home...." and instantly....well...considering traffic on the Kennedy…not instantly....but an hour or two later I'm home!

After a weekend at home, Sunday evening too quickly approaches so I pack my suitcase and gear myself up for yet another week away. Although it sometimes feels like it, I am not carried away to the land of LSTC by a twister but I come willingly. I choose to immerse myself in this strange land called seminary and take time to breathe in and experience all that it has to offer. No, there isn’t a wizard, scarecrow or wicked witch but there is knowledge, community and God’s presence in every corner of LSTC. And when my time here is done, I can click my heels and go home.

But for now, the journey down the yellow brick road continues…