Aujourd’hui (

Here are some things that happened today:

— I told my boss that I would be leaving my job in January of 2012. This was actually a difficult thing to work up the courage to do. I do a good job and am a valued employee (so they tell me) and to tell him that he would need to look for a replacement sooner than he expected made me feel guilty and little nauseous. This news stressed him out, I’m quite sure, but he was extremely gracious about it and encouraging about my switch from seminary to MAT.

— Later in the day I watched most of The Shining at work. The soundtrack alone to this movie is enough to creep you out entirely. When you add to the picture the fact that while I was watching it I was by myself in a big, creaky, dark building with ominous gray skies outside, the end result is goosebumps, shivers and a visceral aversion to Jack Nicholson. Also, I don’t know if someone with Shelly Duvall’s teeth could be in a movie today. There’s nothing wrong with having bad teeth, necessarily, but it sure was distracting. Also also, according to Wikipedia Stanley Kubrick managed to film the whole movie without the actor who plays the young boy, Danny, realizing that he was in a horror film. I simply don’t believe that’s true. It’s just shocking to me that there might be bad information on Wikipedia.

— Still later in the day, I listened to part of an interview with Joan Rivers on Fresh Air while going for a run. Rivers was, apparently, completely honest and open about every aspect of her life — financial, sexual, marital, emotional, etc. Part of her honesty included her description of her desperation to be constantly working and performing, to feel needed by the audience. This makes me think that perhaps transparency is the price some performers pay for the audience’s attention. Those performers who are really in demand can afford to be secretive and elusive.

–Finally, I went with some friends to FOCUS, a Christian ministry to international university students. I spent the night at a table with a Brazilian girl, a Korean girl, a Vietnamese girl, an Iranian couple, and three Japanese girls. The night reminded me how much I like talking to people from other countries (a good thing for someone in my future profession) as well as how much energy it takes to be completely engaged in a conversation with people whose English is not yet fluent. I learned that all of the countries represented at the table celebrated some version of Valentine’s Day. In Iran it is even called Valentine’s day! Everyone agreed that it’s pretty much just a commercial holiday, though. I thought that was pretty funny.

So, I find myself at my apartment at 11:00 on a Friday night, having forgotten that I had also planned to go watch a showing of The Muppet’s Movie at the Baghdad. It’s probably good, though. This way I can go to bed relatively early, sleep well and go run my planned half-marathon training run tomorrow.

I can remember when I ran in the 4th of July Half-Marathon Race on Sauvie Island this past July. It was so incredibly, achingly, disappointingly difficult that I hardly felt any sense of satisfaction at all when I finished. However, The fact that I know that I can go and run it tomorrow without any trouble at all gives me great satisfaction. I’ve come a long way in six months. Side note: I plan to try out a Gu for the first time tomorrow. A lot of people swear by them so we’ll see how it goes.

Finally, spiritually at the moment I feel burdened to work out who I am as Christian when I am not a seminarian. I realize (or at least I think I do) that I have assimilated into my Christian personality many aspects, traits, beliefs and practices of Multnomah. This is a good thing. I am eternally and infinitely grateful to God for having brought me to Multnomah. Nonetheless, just because I assimilated them during this season doesn’t mean they are permanent parts of who I am. In sum, I need to figure out what being a Christian looks like for me when I’m not part of the MU seminary bubble. This is scary work because there is some part of me that believes that Multnomah is the archetype for being a Christian. That which conflicts with Multnomah is necessarily incorrect. I don’t think that is true, really, but it will take some prayer and discernment to figure out who I am with God alone. More on that later.


4 thoughts on “Aujourd’hui (

  1. Wait, you gave a YEAR’s notice and your boss freaked? That’s kinda crazy.

    Also, please teach me to like running. PLEASE.

  2. Well, he didn’t freak out exactly — I could just tell it stressed him out to even think about going through the process of training and hiring someone new Although I’m sure I’ll wish at various points this year that I had waited longer to tell him.

    As for running — just do it until it stops being painful and miserable and starts being fun? That’s what happened to me and it’s still sometimes painful and miserable. Maybe you have to be crazy to like running?

  3. Wait a tick! Does this mean I will not see you this semester? Will I have a complete schedule without Gretchen in it? Or is this spring your last one?

    Also, am I an idiot for not knowing what MAT is? I know of MIT, but not MAT. Finally, congrats on finishing the race!

  4. MAT is the teacher program at MU so I’ll still be in campus but not in seminary classes. Don’t worry, though, you won’t have to miss me too much because I’ll still see you at NW meetings. Are you coming to the retreat?

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