It is 9pm on a Sunday night and after a day of unpacking the last box, hanging the last picture and making a rental house feel like a home, I find myself with time to quietly reflect.
Today is the 21st of July – my last day of school in Cairo was the 13th of June. 6 flights, 38 days, 3 countries, 3 Australian states, 2 conferences and not enough rest later, I am on the verge of another week of school at SCS.
My theology was greatly challenged in Egypt – some of the old things I held important are no longer so and some new thoughts have found a place amongst my personal grasping at the Being much greater than I.
I don’t feel a great deal of truth in the thought that God has predestined all the events in my life. So often in Egypt other NGO workers would say ‘I will be here serving God until He takes away the visa that keeps me here’. My feeling was that perhaps it was not God that took away the visa but the government and perhaps God wants you to stay for the very reason they want you to leave.
A few months ago my wife and I had a plan. She was to be commuting via plane to Melbourne each week to attend her post graduate lectures and workshops while I was going to be working part time while taking a PhD in Adelaide. This meant returning to my old school and would have seen my wife struggle to find meaningful work which would allow her the flexibility to also meet her university requirements.
Now I find myself the principal of a school with a high number of English as a second language students, a community facing similar barriers to social services and general wellness as those I served in Cairo and working in school that has a social justice focus usually not found with the schools of the Lutheran Church of Australia.
Meanwhile our relocation has opened up work opportunities for my wife who has secured work as a midwife in a hospital that receives a high number of new migrant women and also work in her specialty field of physiotherapy.
To paraphrase the great Milhouse from The Simpsons – ‘Everything is coming up Brennen’.
I don’t know how all this works. I don’t believe in a God that has a predestined and carefully defined path for us all to follow. Neither I am I sure we have arrived here in Melbourne by accident.
Perhaps all we can do is be thankful. So in that case…