Thursday, April 24, 2008

This is long overdue

So it looks like from my blog I've been traveling home from Brazil for over four months. The truth is(n't) I traded my international flight for a 150cc Brazilian motorcycle and have been struggling with intra-continental travel since mid December. My family got concerned when Christmas rolled around and I wasn't' there. The debt collectors got concerned in January when my student loans went from repayment to default status and I got concerned when I realized at this rate I would be making better time running the last leg of the journey from Mexico to Chicago then trying to keep the bike in functioning condition. So that's what I'm doing these days. This past Saturday I had an amazing 18 mile run. And if 18 miles in one day is better distance then riding the motorcycle you can only imagine what these past four months have been like. But it is true, I missed the snowy winter Chicago is said to have had this year.

The truth is this has been quite a busy semester. Not so turbulent in the realm of culture shock as I had initially expected but none the less there have been many adjustments to be made. Looking back I thick my disposition fits better with the rhythm of Latin America. This may come as a shock to many of you who know me well and think I thrive on business and unplanned obligations. My rhythm didn't exactly match Brazil's but they were complementary like breaking 4/4 time into triplet quarter notes. It becomes something like Bosa Nova and is totally groovy. So I grooved in Brazil and now that I'm still plowing through this semester at breakneck speed and intensity I am really craving a groove. Here's the deal though, in one week all my class work must be completed. So if I can handle to demands of academia on top of all other life obligations for one more week I'll be free finally to pursue a new rhythm of life.

A refresher course on the recent history of my life just for reflection's and procrastination's sake: Spring of 2007 I attempted a hunger project in which I ate little more then Breedlove dehydrated soup (stuff that USAID uses for international relief aid). This project began to cultivate within me an increasing brokenness for the plight of the poor in the majority world.
The summer of 2007 I embraced voluntary homelessness by ending my traditional lease situation and primarily camping in the backyard of a friend's house. This lifestyle of camping was also mixed with a bit of cross-country road tripping which facilitated some amazing prayer and listening to C.S. Lewis audio books.
The fall of 2007 was spent applying the values that have been surging and seeking expression by living and working with Word Made Flesh in the second largest favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Please read my reflections from each of the phases in my life by flipping through my previous posts.

What is going on in my life now? Well to be sure, I don't have a motorcycle, I also don't have a lease but I do have two bedrooms that I flip-flop between and I still work at the coffee shop in Wheaton. I'm a week from finishing my Master's degree at Wheaton College and I'm within a month of running a marathon. And running is what I should have been posting about throughout this spring. Running has been my extreme pursuit of the season. I have been running in -2 degree with strong wind weather. I have also been running in 90 degree high humidity weather. I have had icecicles growing on my eye lashes and I've been sun burnt. Running is extreme. Anytime I run more then 5 miles I wonder why the heck I do this painful thing to my body.

Well, the reason is death. I wont expound on that yet. Maybe after this afternoon's run, after I've had another chance to meditate on the topic the words will come to me to explain the thing that compels me to run 26.2 miles on May 24th in Traverse City, MI.

I'll try to start blogging more regularly again. Sorry for checking out of the world of media connectivity for so long. No promises that I'll do any better at answering my phone or checking my email but maybe I can promise a blog at least every two weeks.