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Where will you go this Year?

In Elton Trueblood's book entitled Lessons in Spiritual Leadership, he notes that Abraham Lincoln's leadership was influenced not only by a growing self-awareness and events of real suffering, but he was also influenced by Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Washington D.C.

In 2015, I found myself in: New York, Italy, East Africa, the Netherlands, Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Washington D.C. and a host of other spots. And my worldview is impacted at various points along the way. Now, if you believe a worldview is simply a stoic framework, then you probably have a bit of trouble with the idea that a sense of place can impact one's own awareness. Yet, I dare say that we are all influenced by and influencers of the places we find ourselves in.

How you influence those places that you pass through and how those same places influence you matter.

So, where will you go this year?

It matters.

It matters because you will impact people in those places and it matters because those places will impact you. In Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, we find that place matters to the degree of renovation.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

What on earth are we up to when we dwell for a while here or occupy a space there? Are we building little dwelling places of grace that invite change and art and human flourishing to grow or are we sightseeing, hoping someone else will do the work?

I suspect I will travel a bit again this year. My guess is that many of you will do the same.

Let's remind each other not to waste the time spent in other places; those sites we may not call home. There is too much at stake and we have too much to learn to just pass through. 


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As a University director of study abroad in Central Texas, ideas and stories matter. These reflections are for pilgrims making progress.