It’s been a stretching year. Two major highlights: seeing Unichurch start, and the many people I’ve met. One example: Cory worked at a backpackers’ that I stayed at in Montreal. Chats included, while on the way to a fireworks show, discussing whether aliens were involved in human origins.
I’ve made brilliant friends from around the world and around Auckland. I’ve had some excellent and non-excellent moments. I’ve spoken on stage as the least experienced member of a line-up of experimental evolutionary biologists in Washington DC, visited Harvard University, have been sleepless in Seattle (from sheer elation), and irrationally depressed away from home alone in New York. I’ve met some of my heroes in the faith and in science, and been treated as a peer. I’ve considered others to be far less important than myself and run away from hard conversations. I’ve moved out of home, just because I could. I possibly persuaded an ultra-Orthodox Jew, David, in a crappy hostel in DC to consider the claims of Jesus seriously for the first time. I’ve been told “Hmm, you make a good point” quite a few times, and should have said it to God many more. I’ve seen ostentatious wealth and rampant homelessness within metres of each other. I’ve enjoyed tutoring biology and philosophy. I’ve helped to start a church in a bar, and seen men and women become Christians, and new Christians point others to Jesus. I’ve been part of the church leadership. I’ve given various talks, and participated in public debates and discussions. I’ve been out of my depth answering questions from high-school kids. I’ve felt uncomfortably poor. I’ve realised I’m probably addicted to sugar. I’ve submitted two scientific papers and had both rejected. I’ve been warmly encouraged to continue my PhD and I still hope to finish it early. I don’t know what comes next, though it probably involves science, philosophy, and/or theology in some form. I’ve been overwhelmed, stressed, and stretched well beyond what I feel I can cope with; and I’ve realised that Jesus calls all people to an upside-down kind of life.