Well, I should note that I have made a decision: I'm staying in Chicago for another year and applying for Ph.D. programs in the fall in liturgical studies/theology/ethics (still deciding). Lately, I'd been feeling like I had my feet on two ice floes: one floe on pastoral work and one floe on Ph.D. work and a professorial vocation. The ice floes kind of made me feel safe because I could jump on one or the other if another started to sink. However, as I continued floating along, the floes began to move away from one another. I was not pursuing either with enough intentionality because to pursue either with vigor would require leaving the other. I was at the "hour of decision."
When it came to decide, I realized the only reason I wasn't going towards the Ph.D. floe (okay, that metaphor needs to end--no more ice floe talk. Nothing is worse than a metaphor that has overstayed its welcome.) was because the thought of obtaining a Ph.D. was daunting. While fear is a powerful motivator, I decided it shouldn't be the deciding motivation for such a big decision. If I chose the pastoral route, I knew I'd always wonder what what would have happened. So, I officially left the call process last week and now am moving forward. While there's a bit of fear that goes along with it, there has also been tremendous peace in the decision, so I think that's a good sign, right?
Speaking of big news, I made it through the biannual "Bjorlin Lean Times," which falls in early February and October when I wait for my loan checks to come in after running almost completely out of money. This one was worsened by the fact that it was right before the pay period at church, North Park, and World Relief. I was down to about $40 and running low on some necessities. However, the check came today and was deposited shortly thereafter. "Baby you're a rich man/baby you're a rich man/baby you're a rich man too."
The last two days when I begin spontaneously whistling or singing (which happens quite often for me), the song that has been coming to my lips is, "Sante Fe" from the Newsies. If you do not know this song, here it is:
I have to admit that I always loved this song when I was a child. I think it gave me romantic notions of the southwest, of freedom, of making one's way on your own. Ironically, as I have aged with this film, it is clear that this is not even one of the good songs in this musical, especially that terrible instrumental/dance in the middle. However, it must hold a firm place in my subconscious to come up involuntarily in the last few days. Maybe I'm subconsciously yearning for freedom? Maybe I need a trip to the Southwest? Maybe I need to watch Dark Knight? Who knows?
Also, mark your calendars for Sunday, when I will be preaching at ResCov. Service starts at 10:30; be there!