When Donna and I decided that it was OK for me to pass up the opportunity to finish a paid for PhD in theology and the assurance of a future position as a professor in seminary, we thought we were committing to being in Champaign-Urbana for three more years. Since our original plan had been to be here only about three years in total, this was—in our minds—a huge extension of our plans.
Both of us had grown up moving quite a lot throughout our childhoods and college years. Then we had moved six times during the first seven years of our marriage. So, being in one place for up to six years seemed like quite a commitment. And, admittedly, we soon began to feel a bit restless, like something was wrong if we weren’t preparing to move on.
This August, we began our 45th year in Urbana. But, one of the things I have learned during those years is that you do not have to move away from a moderately sized university town—nor do you have to change churches or change ministries—in order to have change in your lives. If you are alive to God, people, learning, and one another, change will come, and that is good. For people like me, it is even essential.
As I mentioned in the last post, I began this saga wanting to “know it all,” and I probably acted like it at times, too. But, God has changed all of that. I also thought I was temporarily giving up my quest to live my life in a creative theological setting, but I have found this community a place that has never quit challenging me to grow theologically and intellectually. (more…)