July 29th, 2000

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Growing in wisdom

This is the earliest I’ve been awake during the institute, and the freshest I’ve felt. Having the assignments process finished (as terrible as the results may be) lifts a great weight from my shoulders.

The institute has been challenging for me, though probably not in the intended ways. Aside from my assignments burden, I’m troubled by the lack of faithfulness to God’s truth I perceive, wrapped in the language and trappings of faith. It’s not a new problem, I know. It does, however, raise the question within my heart of how long I can continue to serve in this profession. Out-of-control sexuality and an acceptance of multiple paths to God are two key fronts on which I see compromise. It turns my stomach— hypocritcal, since I so often make the same compromises in my life. But I don’t ever believe I’m right.

This morning I read a chapter in Reflecting the Character of Christ on reflective thinking. Very appropriate to my current predicament; God has a way of doing that in my reading. To bear witness in this (or any) environment, I must grow closer to Him, fall in love with Him, let His Spirit give me wisdom, courage, and strength. Meanwhile, I must also listen well, be present with people even and especially as we disagree. I have to discern a way between heated debate and the silence of Adam.

Even so, my days in this field may be numbered. I love the heart of it, but its soul is in trouble. There’s a decision to be made: to fight the battle from within or from without. The stakes are high: the souls of students. So while a part of me wants to be gentle and winsome, another part feels the urgency of something precious in the balance, young souls too valuable to be abandoned to the lies. Few know better than I how dire the need is, how little those being entrusted to teach values and characters can truly be trusted at all.
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Train ride

Riding on the upper deck of a Caltrain back from San Francisco. Just had a wonderful visit with Daniela and we’re slowly shimmying our way back toward Santa Clara. I’m a tired, tired boy, very much looking forward to my last night in a twin residence hall bed.

Daniela is such a gift: beautiful, brilliant, talented, but above all of that is her heart of gold. Tomorrow is her 28th birthday, so the timing of my visit was seredipitously excellent. It fed my soul to talk and laugh about life, love, and loss. She is a kindred spirit.

I’m writing mostly just to pass the time. The stop and go motion of the train is frustrating to me, and an attempt to sleep will be inevitably futile because of the jerkiness, the uncomfortable seating, and the sporadic but frequent station announcements over the public address system.

Sounds like the train staff are also a bit peevish about our slowed pace (track construction, they announce). No worries, though; we’ll make it one of these days. I imagine I’ll fairly trudge back to my room at Santa Clara-- the idea of walking doesn’t sound at all appealing right now.

Perhaps I’ll resort to solitaire (of the Burning Monkey variety, of course). I know I’ve reached the end of my reading attention span, and I can feel my writing ebbing as well.