Things are beginning to change in my world. I will soon be closing one chapter, starting a new one, and returning to some old stomping grounds.
Around Thanksgiving, I received an email from one of the philosophy professors at Trinity Christian College in the Chicago suburbs asking if I might be interested in teaching there beginning in the spring term. This caught my off guard, and in many ways was unsure as to why I was being asked.
To make a long story short, over the past two weeks I kept in close contact with Trinity regarding the position, each time wondering if they would move in another direction. That end never came. I have been offered and have accepted the position to teach philosophy at Trinity and will be moving back to the Chicagoland area mid-January.
This process, while occurring rather quickly, was not made in haste. The few weeks of process were quite strenuous with the uncertainty which would be ahead. I am not displeased with my life in Denver. I have had a tremendous time teaching philosophy at CCU and was slated to teach at Denver Seminary starting in the spring. I had a job working with criminals that provided financial security. Would I be willing to give that up for a position at a college out of state? As the days passed, and as I sought much counsel, the answer became a clearer and clearer ‘yes.’
Accepting the position at Trinity offers much that is unavailable in the Denver area. First, Trinity is a great school and I will be working in a philosophy department, something not readily available in Denver. Second, that area of the country offers many great philosophy programs which I can network (and potentially teach) in. Third, I consider the Chicagoland home and it has been my desire to return for some time. I tried to downplay that desire as much as possible during this process, but in the end it is an added bonus. Finally, it has seemed for several months that my time in Denver was rapidly changing and perhaps coming to an end. I did not know what that was – it was a thought that was very abstract. Yet as Trinity began looking at me and I was in the process of making a life-changing decision, many of those thoughts became more and more concrete. Much of my core community in the last three-plus years has moved on, my employment at the counseling center has been changing, and I went through some personal issues that also made me believe change was immanent.
I sought much guidance in this decision. My wonderful mentor, Tom McGee, and I spent many hours on the phone discussing this. All of the people in the philosophical arena whom I sought opinion gave an endorsement of the move, something by which was somewhat of a surprise. A select group of family and friends went through this process with me in diligent prayer. It is a decision made in with the confidence of some that I would trust my life with. Their support is priceless.
In many ways, I consider this transition as an extension of words spoken over me at my confirmation as an Anglican last year. The bishop, who did not personally know me, prayed for me in front of the Wellspring congregation asking for blessings in my teaching endeavors in philosophy and for me to be an agent of truth. The words were very specific, even to the surprise of my mentor and pastor. In the past year, many have reminded me of those words and how they seem to be coming into fruition. This new endeavor is a big part of the reality of those words.
The decision is one of confidence, but also one of faith. This move has risks, especially in the onset regarding finances. The majority of my income comes from the counseling center. That income is soon to be eliminated. In the meantime, I will require prayer for extra employment and a cheap housing in Illinois.
For my friends in Denver, I cannot express my gratitude for your love and support over the past few years. Portions of my experience in Denver have been very difficult. In retrospect, I would not change those difficulties for anything. In that, I learned much about myself, with much help from your friendship. Leaving Denver is not easy, but it does seem right. This has been an instrumental part of my life.
In closing, I must emphasize the active leap of faith that this move is. It comes with much uncertainty. Kierkegaard emphasizes that every choice we make has the potential to be a life-changing one with unforeseeable consequences. The magnitude of this decision has put much of that Kierkegaardian anxiety upon me. In that, I recognize the power that we have to make great steps to develop ourselves through our decisions. Now is that time. Now, I will leap.