Well folks, we have a lot to cover since our last interaction. I am now three months into the Raleigh Fellows program and I’m just now writing my second monthly blog post. In case you were wondering, 3 ≠ 2. I did not do my blog post from last month and so I will do my best this time to fill y’all in on everything from October and November. Maybe you are asking yourself, “hmm self, I wonder why Philip didn’t write his second blog post?” I wish I had a good answer to give you. The truth is though, I don’t know why I didn’t write it. I didn’t forget… how could I with Alex and his marvelous Groupme reminders that blogs are due? I think I just didn’t want to. I didn’t want to sit down and reflect. I am realizing this is a problem I have. Reflecting. I feel as if I don’t know how to do it. I’ve grown apathetic to it because it is easy to simply enjoy experiences and not look back on them. It is easy to go through life without reflecting.
There have been some amazing things that have happened in the past two months. I went to the NC State Fair with all the Fellows plus more friends and ate way too much fried food. We have heard some incredible speakers come and talk to us about truly important things. Dan Nobles spoke about contemplative prayer; Pastor Jay Traylor explained the “why’s” behind Anglican liturgy; Sam Bass (that’s my host dad!!) and Geoff Hall showed us all about managing our finances and what the scriptures say about that. We went to a weekend camp with the Apostle’s youth group. It was so much fun to hang out with my tenth grade guys and see how God is working in those relationships. We went to a weekend retreat for all the eastern Fellows programs where we got to hear the US Ambassador-At-Large for Trafficking in Persons talk about what it means to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8). I wrote and presented my own eulogy in which I made everyone present toast my memory with a Nacho Cheese Dorito eaten via fork. I went to Southport, NC for Thanksgiving with my family because my parents will be moving there in the spring! Additionally I was able to visit one of my best friends from childhood along with one of my best friends from college and his wife in Boston, MA where I am currently sitting in Terminal A Gate A11 of Boston-Logan Airport writing this already late blog post (it was due November 30).
I am really having the time of my life. I love this program. I love the people. I love my job. I love Raleigh. Despite this, I keep coming back to the reality that even though life feels mostly amazing right now, I know I am missing a huge part of it. My time with the Lord has been mediocre at best. I have been struggling to sit with Him and talk with Him. He feels distant to me at times and I think it stems from me having a hard time reflecting. Having a hard time looking back and seeing how God is shaping my life through all of these amazing events that have been happening. My mentor, Bob, has been such a light in this. Whenever I get together with him, he is so patient with me and so good at having me look back and sift through everything around me. I know the other fellows are always there to love me as well because they are a group who loves and cares so deeply and well. Amongst all the madness and laughter of the first three months, I think God has been revealing to me this struggle I have with reflecting. So I am excited to see how he is going to work in me in regards to that. Unfortunately it’ll probably take some reflecting to figure that out. It is easy to go through life without looking back and reflecting, but is it worth it?
I hope y’all enjoyed Ch. 2 and will look forward to Ch. 3. I’ll give you this question to think about in anticipation. Will Philip actually submit a blog post on time? (let’s be real, I was already late on this one and the only reason it is getting done tonight is because my flight got delayed an hour and 40 minutes.)