Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

We’re going for a walk!!

A couple of weeks ago Dr Matthew Anderson from Concordia University was a guest at one of our Inshallah choir practices.  He had composed the text of one of the songs we were singing and was there to hear it for the first time and to let us know where the inspiration for the song came from.

While he was there, he mentioned that he would be teaching a class this spring that included a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.  My ears perked up!!!  This trip had been on J’s bucket list (and therefore on mine as well) for a while.  Last year she watched in envy as a number of her friends  went off and did a section of the trip.  Correspondence started almost immediately, and today, we put down our money.

We’re hoping that the format, with class time before and a tour guide during the trip, will give us a deeper understanding of what we are seeing along the way.  Being with a group will hopefully give a sense of community and purpose as we journey together.

More on pilgrimage in future posts.  Our walk along Hadrian’s Wall was one of our most memorable holidays and was sort of pilgrimage.  We hope this one will be as special.

There is space available if anyone out there is interested!

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Good Bye to the Old Testament

Last night I finished TH500B, the Literature and History of the Old Testament.  Looks like I should have an A+ on this one.

I’ve learned a lot.  The prof, as you have read in previous posts,  is passionate about his subject.  As a working parish pastor, he brings a congregational slant to the class room which makes his lectures practical.  He continually ties the lessons of the Old Testament to the gospel of the New, showing God’s plan moving through the ages.

The struggles of last fall, getting my head around myth and prehistory, are mostly reconciled.  Understanding where the authors are coming from, their perspective in history has helped to clarify the meaning of these passages.  Perspective and place in history is reflected in all of the writings and in those writings that we do today.  It’s all about the message that is being conveyed, the actions that were expected of the listener.

I’m taking the summer off.  There are no courses that will fit my schedule during the summer that I need to be taking.  I hope to take 3.5 credits in the fall semester, maybe all on Tuesdays.  I don’t need to cross that bridge yet, but I do want to accelerate this process going forward.

One of my first posts was about Hadrian’s Wall and how this adventure was a little like the building of that wall or any other large project.  I do have a piece of this wall built,  but, it sure feels like there is a lot of building yet to do, and I am still not quite sure if I am building the right wall.

It’s still exciting though.

Hadrian’s Wall

The picture in the gavatar of this blog is the middle section of Hadrians Wall.  It was taken in the summer of 2006 when J and I and another couple walked from one end of the wall to the other.  The 85 mile walk was likely the most memorable holiday that we have had, partially because of the feeling of accomplishment we got from walking all the way across England, but also because of the people we met along the way, the conversations we had, and the intimate way that we got to know that part of the country.

July242006

But, why use that image as the header for this blog?  It’s not supposed to be about memorable holidays (although they are part of life and likely worth writing about). I use it because Hadrians Wall can be used in a number of ways as a metaphor for life.  When I think about the task ahead, the challenges that need to be faced, the wall and the holiday are nice symbols.

Hadrians Wall is 117km long built over some very tough terrain.  It was started in AD122 and finished 6 years later.   A lot of it was built squared stone and measured 10 feet wide and 16 to 20 feet high.  They had no heavy equipment like bulldozers and excavators.  Oh, and did I mention the 10′ deep ditch on either side of the wall and the castles that they built every mile.  The task must have appeared impossible at the beginning, but it got done.

I’m sure there will be days when assignments are due and my job is making demands that will cause me to  l ask myself “What an I doing?”.  I’m sure that at times getting it all done, fitting it together, will seem impossible.  I know that at some point I will be tempted to quit.  (Of course that may be the most/only viable option at some point)

I may need to make adjustments, the wall builders did.  After the first number of miles the wall was narrowed to 8 feet and sometimes even less.

The picture on the header hangs in our sunroom.  When the going gets tough, I’ll look at the picture and try to look past the problems at hand and focus on the goal.

This likely won’t be the only post about Hadrian’s Wall.  The experience affected our lives in many ways and also serves as a illustration of the choices that we have made.  Stay posted!!!