And my missional vocation will be lived out in a particular type of context: military chaplaincy.
It's therefore fitting that in the same way that soldiers will conduct mission rehearsal exercises before deploying overseas, I'm currently conducting my own mission rehearsal exercise. I'm in Sydney for the week to attend a facilitation by Steve Taylor on mission, discipleship and leadership in cultures of change. In a number of ways I've tried to make this trip a practice for my travel in Europe:
- I travelled only with hand luggage (I don't think I can ever travel with checked baggage again, it's so much quicker and easier),
- I relied heavily on the hospitality of others - my hosts are generous and flexible and even though I do my own thing a lot of the time, I still feel like we share a significant amount of time,
- most of my non-study activities were unplanned before arriving (except for one), even a proposed trip to the a neighbouring city.
In some ways I'm already starting to live the life of a pilgrim – travelling lightly, looking for God's grace at work in others and spontaneity – but there is certainly much to learn as I refine both the way I travel and discipline the way I live.
(Numerous clichéd ways of making this last point tempted me in this late-night moment of weakness – much ground to cover, a long way to journey, etc – but I have successfully avoided placing them in the body of the post. I include them here for illustrative purposes only.)