As promised, here is a bit more about what the future could hold.
I am continually amazed at the twists and turns life brings. It seems that just when we think we have a course set for ourselves, often something comes along to alter our course a bit, even a lot.
If you've followed the story of lives for a while, one thing has been constant - change. The past several years has been a time of growing and thinking, stretching and wondering. There has been a restlessness in our souls about where we are and what we are investing our lives into. While I thoroughly loved my role as teaching pastor in our community, there was this gnawing sense that God was doing something in our lives.
A few years back, I realized that I had a deep love of learning. The classes I was taking as a part of my graduate degree were energizing. The reading I was doing challenged me in ways that I never thought. As I was synthesizing all I was reading and thinking, people around me began to make a related comment. Have you ever thought about going into the academic world?
To be honest, I had never thought of it much. But as I started having conversations with my professors, the reality of my passions and gifts began to come more into focus. I began to have more and more conversations with people who were all encouraging me to consider academics as a future.
So with that, we decided to explore what opportunities God opened before us. I sent an email out to a handful of people sharing what we were thinking and sensing. One of the responses I got back was from a friend of mine at Azusa Pacific University, where I did my undergrad and graduate work. There was an opening as the Director of Chapel Programs, a position in Student Life whose main responsibility is helping craft and oversee all the chapel programs for the university. With the encouragement of my professors, I applied for the position and have been in the application process for nearly five months now.
The process began with 50 applicants, which was narrowed down to 10 or so who were given a change to respond in writing to a supplemental set of questions. This group was further narrowed down to a smaller group who had a one hour phone interview with the search committee. This group was further narrowed down to three candidates who were invited up on campus for a series of face-to-face interviews. Hence, my interviews last Wednesday, as I was one of the three.
Word has it that the committee will be meeting on Tuesday to discuss the three candidates and at that point we will learn more. Until then, I rest in the fact that no matter what happens, I have a clearer picture of what the next chapter of our life looks like, perhaps clearer than I've had in the past four years.
Part of what the future holds is a doctoral program in Second Temple Judaism, as we've begun the process of exploring what options are available. One of the programs we've been looking into is the Judaic Studies program at UC San Diego, which is becoming more and more nationally recognized - but are open to all sorts of options at this point. The desire is most definitely there.
So, this is where we have found ourselves. Waiting. Hoping. Exploring.
Keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.