On the Road Again

On the Road Again

I can’t believe it’s been 4 months since we came to Death Valley National Park. I’m really can’t believe that it’s time to move on – again. This last year and a half has been one extended period of saying good-bye and moving on. It started in Aug 2016 when I was informed that Judson was shutting down the theology program and ending my faculty line. Taking a deep breath, my first thought when I heard this was – “It’s going to be ages before we feel settled and at home again.” Little did I realize then how ongoing this experience would be, how many good-byes we would have to say and how some were going to be permanent.

Moving On

We signed up to volunteer (free camping but no salary) at Death Valley National Park [DVNP] as interpretive rangers or park guides, for the Fall part of the park’s high season. Usually the commitments are for 3 months but with the busy time here being over the Holiday season we agreed to stay on through January. Since we didn’t have another gig lined up after DVNP, we thought we might stay until the end of March or maybe even April, if they needed us. Either way, we knew were here short-term. In late November and early December, we began applying for volunteer opportunities for the spring and summer – anticipating that we will still be on the road. As it turns out, on January 20th we will be moving to Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP). There we will be serving in a different role, as campground hosts rather than park guides – and we’ve heard conflicting reports about the hosting experience.

One of the interesting things about volunteering is that you get to learn a huge amount of information about the regions and the parks – history, geography, geology, weather patterns, biology, animals, recreational usage, safety… – but then you move on. Just when you feel you finally have a good amount, if not a lot, to offer to others, you move on. As enjoyable as the time is, as privileged as you are to have the extended chance to learn these things, as adventurous as this is – in the end its unsettling.

Feeling Settled

We are processing a quite strange sense of being both settled and unsettled. We humans have a strange capacity to domicile rather quickly. A family camping will set up for a week and make the place quite homey and their own. A place can quickly become ‘my place’ if you know you are going to be there for a bit. You “settle in” establish a routine, get to know the people, the place, the rhythms of life. You learn to, but also you choose to be at home in a place. DVNP has come in 4 short months to feel familiar, homey, like our place.

This feeling at home has also been mixed with a constant feeling of being unsettled however. After 2 weeks of training, then 2 ½ weeks of working and getting into a routine we received word that my mother had died. We immediately left for the east coast and spent almost 3 weeks disoriented and like we had whiplash. When we returned we headed into the craziness of the Thanksgiving onslaught here in the park. We also realized we would need to start applying and interviewing for whatever parks came next. Then after catching our breath for a couple of weeks and settling back down, the insanity of the Christmas/New Year onslaught hit the park. This coupled with a visit from our daughter and her boyfriend made for a fantastic but not-routine and early January. For me this unsettled period was amplified by 3 events. After being back from my mother’s funeral for a week I flew to Houston for a job interview. Might we be leaving the road sooner than we expected and moving to Houston? Alas, the answer was no. Then, I was contacted out of the blue and had an interview (on the phone this time) in Palm Beach. Would we be moving soon to Florida? Alas, the answer was no. Then, right after the new year I had a conference in LA. It was a fantastic time and I was able to share reflections on work disruptions and its effect on faith and church life.

So, in fact we have been anything but settled over the last 4 months. And yet, we have completely settled in. This paradox seems to be, on a larger scale, the paradox of our life right now.

Saying Good-bye

In a week, we will say good-bye to some amazing new friends. The team of volunteers that we live with, in our little camper neighborhood, are interesting, enjoyable to be with and have become a kind of family. Likewise, we’ve come to love all of the 6 month seasonal rangers (mid-20’s through early 30’s). And, the permanent rangers here are great folk, passionate about their work – the park and visitor experience. Saying good-bye to new friends, after such an intense experience is going to bring on some tears.

This is especially true after the number of good-byes we’ve had to say in the last 6 months. My friends and colleagues of 10 years at Judson, our friends and church family in Carpentersville and Algonquin, our kids, reuniting and then saying so long to friends in Colorado… at least all of these good-byes are more like “see you later” than final farewells. Yet there have also been more significant deaths in our close family (biological and church) than I have ever experienced. My mother, my cousin Jeff (like a second brother), my sister-in-law’s dad Jack, Al our friend from church and even our dog of 14 years. While we believe in the resurrection of the dead and know we will one day be reunited, for now, these good-byes are more than just, “see ya later.”

It’s the People

So, what have we learned? I’m honestly not sure yet. We are still on the journey and not sure where it is taking us or how long it will take to get there – wherever or whatever ‘there’ means. And in a way, that’s ok. Knowing that we are learning and growing, that this time is not wasted, gives our desert and wilderness experience a sense of meaning and purpose. Knowing that God is with us and has not abandoned us, even when it feels otherwise, gives us the ability to keep on going.

While I’m not sure yet what “the” lesson is, or even if there is “a lesson” as such, here are some things we can say with confidence:

  1. God is good and we will be fine, if not always in this life, at least in the next.
  2. Life is short, seize the moment if you can. Seek for beauty where you are.
  3. People make the difference. Everybody has a story. Listen to them.
  4. We all need meaningful work – whether that is paid or volunteer makes little difference. We all need to serve, to give to another, in and through our daily activities to live a good life full of meaning and joy.

 

96 Replies to “On the Road Again”

  1. Love your 4 points… lessons worth hanging onto. Angee and I are not “going on the road” but we are starting a new journey. We are now artisans. We build wall mountings of historic maps. We are expanding the number of locations we are in and we will do some of the Art Fair circuits in the spring. If we like it, and it is successful, perhaps we will also end on “on the road again”.
    Blessings,
    Keith J.

  2. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. But imagine if you added some great images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the best in its field. Superb blog!

  3. Commonly I would not understand write-up upon sites, having said that i want to express that this particular write-up very pushed me to consider and also do so! A person’s composing tastes is pleasantly surprised me personally video youtube terbaik. Cheers, fairly terrific posting.

  4. I don’t even know the way I ended up here, however I assumed this post was good. I do not understand who you might be however certainly you’re going to a famous blogger when you aren’t already. Cheers!

  5. Terrific work! That is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared across the web. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this submit upper! Come on over and seek advice from my web site . Thank you =)

  6. I love the dear details you actually deliver in your reports. I will bookmark your web site and check out once again below regularly.. aplikasi android prediksi saham terbaru I will be alternatively ‘ shall learn loads of completely new material good in this article! All the best for an additional!

  7. Quite great post.. jokowi presiden I found your blog page and also needed to declare that I’ve truly liked checking your web site discussions. All things considered We’re signing up in your rss feed and that i do hope you create yet again immediately!

  8. Terrific things once and for all, you merely earned aplikasi handphone riset saham terbaru a fresh viewer. Quantity people propose regarding your upload for you to manufactured at times during the past? Any certain?

  9. I added a new blog post yesterday. There’s a smaller list than usual in it.
    I’m currently working on a bigger list.
    It’s going to take some time to compile it. I hope all of you are having a good week.
    I’m planning on doing some design changes to my site.
    I’m also thinking about adding some new things too.
    I’ll talk more about that in the days and weeks to come.

  10. I’m working on a new list. I’m hopeful that this one will be much bigger.
    I made some announcements about my future site plans. I’m going to be adding
    some new stuff soon. You’ll definitely want to stay tuned
    for that. Thanks for your time and have a good weekend!

  11. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  12. Hey would you mind letting me know which web host you’re working with?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot
    faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at
    a reasonable price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  13. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I
    am encountering troubles with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I can’t subscribe to
    it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows
    the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  14. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your
    articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all.
    But think about if you added some great visuals or videos to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images
    and clips, this website could undeniably be one of the greatest
    in its niche. Awesome blog!

  15. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to
    be exactly I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content
    for you? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write concerning here.

    Again, awesome web site!

  16. Hello, i believe that i saw you visited mmy web site so i came to return the want?.I aam attempting to to find things to improve my site!I guess its ok to use a feew
    of your concepts!!

  17. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog
    that’s both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail
    on the head. The issue is something which too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy that I found this during my search for something regarding this.

  18. WYBORY SAMORZĄDOWE 2018 na Pomorzu. Kto kandyduje do Sejmiku Województwa Pomorskiego w okręgu nr 3? Na kogo będą mogli głosować mieszkańcy Gdańska? Oto wyborczy poradnik dla mieszkańców okręgu nr 3.

  19. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My site addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

  20. Hi! I just wamt too give you a big thumbs up ffor your excellent info you have
    got right hsre on this post. I’ll bbe returning to your blog for more soon.

  21. We have learned a great deal about recovering from narcotic addiction and have found several methods that work well. This is information drug treatment programs would not want out since it would cause them to lose a large number of patients. Would it be better to start with a blog or a website? We eventually hope to make this into an alternative business that would help people get of methadone clinics. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as there is a dire need for this information. Thank you..

  22. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  23. Good Info Buddy. It Helps a lot. Love to see you posts. Our Indian Escorts in Hyderabad are very discrete, honest and professional with client. Our Escort girls offer in call and outcall services in every major area in Hyderabad. Our most trusted Indian Escorts having great intelligence, humour and charm to seduce the clients. They’ll make surely your remain in Hyderabad will become ne’er -to-be-forgot. In become the escort agency Hyderabad-Love insures that everybody is covered discreet, professional and anonymous. Contact Miss Anjali @ http://www.missanjali.com

  24. Attractive element of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to say that I get in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing in your augment and even I fulfillment you get right of entry to persistently fast.

  25. With everything which seems to be building inside this subject matter, your opinions are generally rather refreshing. On the other hand, I am sorry, because I do not give credence to your whole idea, all be it exciting none the less. It looks to me that your remarks are actually not completely validated and in actuality you are generally your self not really wholly certain of your point. In any case I did appreciate examining it.

  26. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  27. Thanks , I’ve recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  28. Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

  29. Can I just say what a aid to search out someone who really is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know the way to bring an issue to mild and make it important. Extra people have to read this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular since you positively have the gift.

  30. I feel this is one of the most important information for me. And i’m glad studying your article. However wanna commentary on few normal issues, The web site taste is ideal, the articles is truly excellent : D. Excellent task, cheers

  31. Hi there, I found your web site by the use of Google even as looking for a similar
    subject, your website got here up, it seems to be great.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just became alert to your weblog through Google, and
    found that it’s really informative. I am going
    to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful should you proceed
    this in future. A lot of folks will be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  32. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Yoour favorite reason appeared to bbe on the internet the easiest thing to be aware
    of. I say tto you, I certaijly gget irked while people think about worries that they jusxt do not know about.
    You manage to hit the nail upon the top and
    defined out the whole thing without having side effect ,
    people can take a signal. Will likely bbe back to get more.
    Thanks

  33. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  34. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Wonderful. I’m also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  35. I simply want to say I am beginner to blogging and seriously enjoyed this blog site. Likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You certainly have fabulous posts. Thanks for sharing with us your webpage.

  36. We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable info to paintings on. You have done an impressive job and our entire group shall be thankful to you.

  37. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually loved account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing for your augment or even I success you access constantly rapidly.

  38. Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and in no way seem to get something done.

  39. Good day I am so thrilled I found your website, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

  40. Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any points for rookie blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  41. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  42. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Appreciate it!

  43. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Many thanks!

  44. Good Info Buddy. It Helps a lot. Love to see you posts. Our Indian Escorts in Hyderabad are very discrete, honest and professional with client. Our Escort girls offer in call and outcall services in every major area in Hyderabad. Our most trusted Indian Escorts having great intelligence, humour and charm to seduce the clients. They’ll make surely your remain in Hyderabad will become ne’er -to-be-forgot. In become the escort agency Hyderabad-Love insures that everybody is covered discreet, professional and anonymous. Contact Miss Anjali @ http://www.missanjali.com

  45. This is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to
    the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  46. Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

  47. It has the just like you understand my thoughts! Material comprehension a whole lot in regards to this, just like you published your e book within it something like that. I have faith that that you can do with a few p. do. to be able to electrical power your message house slightly, but rather than that will, that is definitely fantastic weblog. An excellent study.. index saham dunia I am going to absolutely return to their office.

  48. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with useful info to paintings on. You have done an impressive activity and our whole group can be grateful to you.

  49. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write once more soon!

  50. The subsequent time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my option to learn, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you might repair in the event you werent too busy in search of attention.

  51. We absolutely love your blokg and find thhe majority oof our post’s to be what
    precisely I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content to suit your
    needs? I wouldn’t mind writing a popst or elaborating oon a lot of the subjects you write concerning here.
    Again, awesome weblog!

  52. Good point! Amazing info over this website. It is pretty worth enough for me. From my point of view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before. I could not resist commenting. I have spent 2 hours searching for such tips. I’ll also share it with some friends interested in it. I have just bookmarked this website. Right now with the job done, I will find some free online model cams. Thank you!! Greetings from Lewisville!

  53. Super! Amazing information over this web. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more helpful than ever before. I could not resist commenting. I ‘ve spent 3 hours searching for such tips. I’ll also share it with a couple of friends interested in it. I’ve just bookmarked this site. Done with the job done, I will enjoy some free online model cams. Vielen Dank!! Greetings from Odessa!

  54. I am now not certain where you are getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend a while learning more or figuring out more. Thanks for fantastic info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  55. Good day very cool site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally? I’m satisfied to seek out a lot of useful
    info here within the submit, we need work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.

    . . . . .

  56. Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum
    it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything.

    Do you have any recommendations for first-time blog writers?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  57. I and also my pals happened to be examining the best tactics from your web blog and then got an awful feeling I had not expressed respect to the website owner for those techniques. These boys were so excited to learn them and have honestly been making the most of these things. We appreciate you really being well considerate and also for making a decision on these kinds of outstanding tips millions of individuals are really eager to know about. My very own honest regret for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  58. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well.

    In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now ;
    )

  59. hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise several technical points using this
    site, as I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to
    load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK?
    Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.

    Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective exciting content.
    Ensure that you update this again soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *