Sunday, September 16, 2007

Both near and far

Two blog posts in one day: that's what happens when I have a Sunday free and lots on my mind.

Yesterday was the first unofficial day of fall here in the Commonwealth. When I left to go running in the morning, the air had a new kind of coolness that I hadn't felt in a long time. (In fact, all I felt was stifling heat and humidity for weeks on end.) Underneath gray skies, as water droplets left from the overnight rain dripped onto me, I was actually a bit chilly for a few minutes. There's hope for this state yet.

You see, I love the fall season. It's hands-down the best. Sure, summer has baseball, long days, and green fields rich in corn and sugar beets--at least in Michigan. But fall has the cool, crisp air that invigorates my spirit. Pumpkins. Wheat fields gold for the harvest. The brilliant radiance of leaves losing their chlorophyll. The World Series. College football. Fall's got it all--and it's right on time.

But though I may be near to the best time of the year, I feel farther than ever from Istanbul, and I miss it a lot. In the words of my friend Leanne, "I miss Turkey so much my soul hurts!" Over the past week or two I have been constantly flipping through my photos from that now-distant land, listening to Turkish music, translating recipes and the Gospel of Mark into English, and adding Turkish touches to my meals (chickpeas, yogurt, olives).

Galata Tower and the Golden Horn at dusk

My crushing longing to be back there might simply be because, in two years' time there, life became familiar, doable. Sure, every day brought new excitements and challenges. But trying to stay afloat in this new world of high school teaching is wearisome. I feel right now like all I want to do is get back over there and find a job, any kind of job, and share the truth of Jesus with the multitudes who don't know him. I looked at my world-map shower curtain last night and thought to myself--or actually I probably said aloud to myself--"Just find a way to get me back, and I'll go! Now!"

But there's a lot of water that needs to pass under my proverbial bridge before that happens. I've only taught two weeks. Even a full school year is hardly enough time to evaluate my enjoyment of and confidence in performing such a job. I need a few years. Plus, my job will allow me to save up a little for any future calling in life, whether that be seminary and some sort of pastoral/teaching ministry or a graduate degree in environmental biology.

Rumeli Hisar and the Bosphorus

It's time to be patient and trust God for what's comes my way today, knowing that he will provide for me and direct my steps (Proverbs 3:5-6).


Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Oh Drew, I'm so sorry. I had a feeling you were feeling this way - my spirit has just been a bit uneasy as I prayed for you about how you were adjusting to all this in such a short time. Just the transition "home" is huge and then to move halfway across the country and do something totally new and very difficult.... and I had no idea about the trip to the hospital on top of all of it. That must have been quite frightening. I have migraines with visual loss - but that part's usually over in an hour or so.

I figured if your new teacher struggle there is anything like what I am observing here, you might need some encouragement for your soul and your spirit - that's why I thought of a "care package" - which should be on it's way on Monday as I finished baking, packed and sealed it just before I sat down to check email before I finish my Bible Study (poor O fell asleep over hers). My email said there was a comment from you so I stopped to read the comment and then clicked over to your blog to read these last two posts.

Know our prayers are with you – God has you in the middle of this place for a reason even if only He knows what it is – but it IS for your good and His glory and you can certainly trust Him to get you through. 1Thess 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He will bring it to pass.

Enjoy the cookies – they’re the part that’s supposed to be good for the soul – I’ll leave the part for your spirit as a surprise upon box opening.

Andrew said...

I'm certainly curious about the "part for my spirit!" O told me you were gathering some items for the care package. I was pretty surprised -- and I'm grateful.

Andrew said...
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Andrew said...
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Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

You should have your package when you get home on Tuesday. Besides, I never did get that Cream of Tartar package to Turkey to you - so I owed you one.

I know you love words - especialy those that reflect the truth and applicability of scripture - so I think if you listen closely, you'll come to love these to as they will be directly applicable to your current situation - even if the style is a bit different than what you might choose for yourself.

Andrew said...

Do I suspect a Rich Mullins CD in the mail?

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

You are more than welcome. Afterall, what's a halfmom for?

We all know to guard ourselves in areas of known weakness, areas where we know that we are particularly tempted to sin. Clearly it would be unwise not to be on guard in these areas.

What I was thinking about is whether it is unwise to consider that you have any areas of "strenght" because you would tend to let your guard down in those areas - rather like being ambushed because you were caught unaware.