Checking In

These first couple of weeks of summer vacation have been a little twisty.  Good, but twisty.

It’s taken some time for me to get used to the sun rising so early and setting so late.  It’s almost like I’ve not experienced this before.  I’m often up before sunrise, but these last couple of mornings have caught me off guard and ready to go back to sleep for a while.  Then, of course, you lose out on the early morning before the sun gets too high in the school for a good walk up into the valley.  If it’s not done by 7:30, it requires sunscreen.

So I’m definitely not living by my school-year routine.  Not only am I sleeping in until about 6:30/7:00, I’m also staying up later.  I blame a spate of quality TV for some of that.  Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ms. Marvel on Disney+, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and (of course) season four of Stranger Things have given me a nice way to wind down the day.  Kenobi finally picked up the pace this week (just in time for next week’s finale).  Ms. Marvel is off to an interesting start.  Star Trek: SNW is simply well-done.  This is my first season of Stranger Things that isn’t a communal viewing, but it’s still been good.  Just have to keep the volume down so as not to bother the neighborhood.

I have, for the most part, stayed away from school.  Things pop up a couple of times a week, either emails or texts or phone calls that are mostly time-sensitive.  I’m trying to respond quickly, succinctly, and graciously.  I did realize a few minutes ago that I forgot to set up the office for our in-coming Christian Ministries coordinator, so I do need to go on campus for a few minutes to take care of that next week.

The first half of this week was spent watching the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting online.  Definitely a sobering but encouraging watch for me.  The meetings (and the online commentary that came with it) is a point-for-point reflection of what is going on in the broader world.  There’s a lot that needs to be worked out.  But size definitely makes that more complex, I think.

Last week I finished the latest Rivers of London novel.  I put it off for a month, which is unfortunate.  But, as is always the case, Aaronovitch wove a wonderful tale.  He strings things along well without it feeling too much like plodding.  As with every good series, success is found in mining the world’s past as much as it is weaving the world’s future. I also finished up a quick re-read of the last chunk of Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales.  I mostly just wanted to read things pertaining to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  It’s my way of revisiting the world without having to reread the whole saga (which will happen again sometime soon).  I find myself doing this kind of thing with Tolkien, Lewis and Chesterton.  I am truly amazed at the amount of world-building that Tolkien accomplished that can be found in manuscripts and notes.

Beyond that, I’m reading through NT Wright’s commentary on Galatians, Brown’s biography of Augustine, and Nouwen’s final journal.  It’s kind of an odd juggling act right now.  But it’s a good juggling act.  I’m reading the commentary because it’s been sitting on my table for months and it felt time to read some new Wright.  Augustine because he’s always hovering around my hopes and imagination.  And Nouwen’s final journal because it’s about his sabbath year and what he experienced during it.  All of this stuff goes into the big stew of my life.  It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of the stew when the summer comes to an end.

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