Currently listening to Jon Foreman - Limbs and Branches
which you can listen to by clicking the link and going to the 7th cd in the listMy sports hero is David Robinson, who played for the San Antonio Spurs. The beautiful thing about his career is he knew when it was time to retire and declared it before the season. So his entire last season was a lot like a celebration parade for an illustrious career. And he finished it by winning a Championship, like the Champion he is and was. Why do I say all this? Well my STINT career here in Rome, Italy is coming to a close and I know it. I have no championship to win but "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phil 3:13-14)
In celebration of that, of only 3 and 1/2 weeks left in this Grande Adventure of Roma Italia, I would like to fill you in first on a day by day of this week.. well probably every other day to be honest. And then celebrate Sunday by posting a short story I wrote earlier this year. So here I am, Monday winding to a close, and I have lived a full day. Waking up at 7:30, I wanted to spend some time with God before my morning meeting to evaluate the year with the two other members of my missional team. However Rome was Rome, and I had to settle for some prayer time as I waited for a bus... and waited... and waited. What should have been a 25 minute commute turned into a 50 minute commute and I got there 5 minutes before our meeting was to start.
The meeting went well, good honest evaluation is not always easy but is good for the soul. As past failure is exposed to the light, their power is stripped and the light of God's truth and how he has redeemed even our failures shines through. Hopefully we will learn and move on and pass along that learning to help others learn from our mistakes and successes. We swung by my favorite kebab/pizza place, Pizza Design, on the way to campus and I said hey to Hassan as he hooked me up with some killer pizza. Yes, this it Italy and we eat a lot of pizza.La Sapienza, 2nd largest university in the worldCampus time was especially sweet for me today as I got to see some old friends. Initially we were meeting with the american Summer Project students that are here hanging out with us, but I had to duck out and plan a beach outreach with The Dueck. Returning briefly to the SP students, I was once again drawn away seeing David from the Grass, an old friend that I havent seen since December. Connecting with him was good but he is still very much David from the Grass, kind and gentle and with a spirituality that is about as solid as the wind blowing... you can feel it but it isnt really based in anything concrete, so it goes wherever it pleases. I had to take off and make some phone calls to schedule physical therapy for my healing left arm, but it was good to see him.
I tried to meet some guys playing around with a Rugby ball, which was a lot of fun for me to play with but we didnt really get to talk a lot. It was still refreshing to simply play, and I invited them to the beach thing this Saturday. But even better is I ran into Giovanni the Juggler, a good friend from last year who has been studying in London all year. I got to talk to him, his girlfriend, and another friend Giulia. My favorite part was when another friend, Dmitri, joined us and asked me, "Do you think what your association does here is useful?" I got to respond to both why it is useful in general to have a place to discuss spiritual things and for me, as a Christian, how this relationship with God has changed my life. Dmitri seemed to think that it wasn't necessary, not in a mean way, but simply that people can find other places to talk about this stuff. And I got to sit back and watch Giovanni argue for why we are needed here in Italy, even though Giovanni isn't a believer! Here, my dear friend Giovanni, argues for why Agape Italia is needed even though he doesnt agree with my stance on Christ. God is BIG!
After campus, I hit up the grocery and then to some good talk time with The Dueck, learning from his wisdom and the lessons that God has been teaching him. His parting words? "Seek God. Really seek him this week, not just to fill in your quiet time quota, but to seek God." Good advice. Simple yet profound. Then I cooked for me and Brian, including an amazing steak I bought as a special treat. Emails, calls to Amanda my lovely and amazing girlfriend, and enjoying music filled out the day. So there it is, Monday, more than you ever wanted to know... but a day in the life.