Thursday, February 10, 2011

Week 1

by Scott Dalen

Its Thursday of week one, and the last day I'll be on campus this week (of only 2 times this week, admittedly pretty minor). I just walked out of Chapel, and two things occurred to me. One was exciting, the other a little sad.

First, the exciting thing. I arrived on campus right at 11am this morning, and so chapel had just started when I walked into OCC. I walked in and sat in the back pew right next to the door, so as not to disturb anyone as I entered. A moment after I took my place, both President RichardBliese and Dean Kennedy walked in and sat close by me...not with me, but in close proximity. I looked around a little more and saw Professor Chris Scharen (who is co-teaching one of my classes this spring and also wrote a fascinating article that I just read and greatly appreciated). Professor Paul Westermeyer shared the scripture and commentary in worship.

In short, I realized that I am surrounded by "academia." I've been excited about the opportunity to study on campus for the duration of my seminary education, because at heart, I am an academic. I enjoyed college, and I've greatly enjoyed the chances to be on campus over the past 2.5 years for the DL intensives. Don't get me wrong, I've learned a ton during my online classes, and am even still taking one this spring. They are wonderful as well, but I've always been excited to be in the presence of some of the academic minds that wrote down some of the stuff I'm reading.

I've written several times about the up and downs of making the transition from DL student over to on campus (albeit it commuter) but this one was a good feeling. This one is exciting.

Now, the second thing that happened actually occurred as I was walking out of the chapel. Due to it being a wonderfully bright sunny day, light was streaming in from some of the second story windows and promptly blinded me. I waxed nostalgic for a moment because the same thing happened every single week when I would walk out of the sanctuary in my home church back in Iowa. Every single week. It made me miss home and it made me miss my church.

Granted, things like this are going to happen. Its common with any relocation regardless of whether or not it is for seminary or taking a call or simply moving on. But it is my prayer that they start to occur less and less. Minnesota is home now and will be for at least a couple years until I finish up school. Maybe longer depending on where I receive a call.

God has placed me here and with God's placement comes both joy and sorrow as I experienced this morning. But you know what...that's okay.


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