Monday, April 30, 2012

Remembering an Old Life

Today we went to a BBQ that was recognizing commuters and how their lives are not always recognized in our community planning and decision making.  There were some CDs made with a travel mix recognizing that trips are different and longer and sometimes some tunes to listen to are a big help.  Sound like I may know something about the commute?  It was my past life last year.  I maintained a completely different schedule so that I could still live and work, making me a commuter with a couple days down at LSTC and rest of the week in WI.  Making that happen includes many choices and small inconveniences, it could be...
-choosing to take classes like Greek and Pentateuch online rather than to stay longer in Chicago or traveling back and forth more times
-hearing about something like playing football or basketball or a great party idea you can only go if it matches when you are already around or willing to drive back in.
-and if something scheduled is canceled like basketball for a floor cleaning or a mandatory meeting has been put in the wrong date, you have showed up for nothing and probably canceled something else
-your spouse or partner cannot always attend things because it is not feasible for two cars to come to something or 
-it feels like you have two lives
-many meetings and classes let out or begin right around rush hour
-you are odd man out as those things you missed for work or family, are now the birthplaces of inside jokes and stories that need to be retold only to you, so you can have a vague idea of what your community is doing. 
I had a life in my van of clothes and supplies ready for anything that may happen when I was down in Chicago.  These comments are not only my own but those of other commuters as well.
Now is this a taunt to the commuters as I reflect on how much my life has improved since I moved to school??? Never!!!  It is merely a glance back of appreciation for the ups and downs of that life and the ups and downs of a new one.  I loved that I still saw my family once a week and friends from high school were still keeping in touch with me.  I was able to be with the people I cared about and give them a real chance at the jobs and calls they have in their life, as well as my own.  I think commuters help us recognize the difficulty of the call and that it can be easy to move when we are single and in our twenties. Try attaching a spouse or kids and all their needs, or a real financial threat of ending a prominent and successful first career, these make life harder to uproot and go.  Commuters are the real Abraham's and Ruth's, as they trust God with so much and many times ask their families to do it with them.  Everyone chooses to give up on something to come to seminary, I believe that is really the case.  But I believe commuters give up something and in their choice to commute usually they must give up the conveniences of a seminary life.

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