I’m enjoying this week of more detailed updates. Yes, they’re a little more tedious to write (and read), and neither you guys nor I would survive for long like this. But these posts provide a good, lasting insight into the realities of this year-long road trip. [You can catch up on the TRECC at the TRECC Itinerary.]
On the one hand, the Portland-to-North Carolina TRECC is a very unique portion of the Road Trip. Obviously. But the individual days during this week really aren’t that different from many of my days this year. Plenty of time is spent like these days: making long drives (like yesterday), locating ministries to visit, planning my route, or otherwise just “getting the job done.”
Today was one of those days.
The day started with packing up my stuff (a lot of days start like that) and heading over to North Dakota State U, which I had seen only briefly the night before. This time I got to see more of the campus – after a night of ridiculous snowfall. There was at least one big snowman hangin’ out on campus.
I took pictures and explored the campus, but the biggest portion of my time there was spent in the Memorial Union on my laptop. I needed to examine ministries in the Minneapolis area, hoping to find any college ministry meeting tonight. (It’s Friday, so that’s pretty rare.)
(I also ate some Taco Bell. I really appreciate Taco Bell campus locations!)
Spending a couple of hours sorting through site after site getting ministry details may sound tedious, but it’s a very common activity on this trip. Scheduling campus visits, ministry visits, and church visits occupies quite a bit of time each week. This fact may not be a surprise, but it’s certainly not one of the more obvious or “glamorous” portions of the trip, either.
Driving is the same way – necessary, but rather uninteresting. So is journaling, which has recently been reaching around 100 hand-written pages a week. Even the act of blogging is dull, even if the results turn out to be occasionally… somewhat… interesting.
But these actions are a huge part of this adventure! They all help the Road Trip “happen” or will help it bear fruit in the future. So sometimes these jobs just have to be done, even when I’d rather be exploring campuses, visiting ministries, seeing these magnificent cities, or even resting up.
After my time at NDSU, I scooted across town (and, as it happens, across state lines) to Minnesota State University, Moorhead. By now, time was getting short – so while I did want to see this campus, I couldn’t spend too long. I did stay long enough to see one of the coolest mascot-statues I’ve seen: the metallic Moorhead State Dragon wrapped around one of the campus light posts, 10 feet or so above the pavement. It made me think of that kid – Eustace? – who became a dragon in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Not sure why, since there are other dragons in the world, right? Maybe I’m just excited about “Prince Caspian.”
I should note that today’s weather has been nutso, yet again. More on that tomorrow, but the drive from Moorhead cross-state to Minneapolis was a pretty good caricature of northern-plains-winter-driving, what with the high winds, blowing snow, and flatness.
The final instance of getting the job done today was making a church visit. One college ministry I found in my earlier analysis is the campus outreach from The Rock, a church here in Minneapolis. The ministry wasn’t meeting, but the church was – yep, their services are Friday nights. (Although you may remember I attended a Friday night service just a few weeks ago…)
I say this was “getting the job done” because I wasn’t “feeling it” tonight. I just didn’t want to go.
That may surprise you (but probably not), since I go to dozens of ministries and churches each month. And there are certainly times I just don’t wanna.
And it’s not like it would be so terrible to skip a ministry visit; I’ve certainly done that on occasion. But tonight, I prayed about it and thought about it and realized – for several reasons – it would benefit me to go tonight. So I did. And what do you know? I was glad I did. (I’ll fill you in on all the church visits in Sunday’s update.)
So today was one of those getting-the-job-done days. And though days like this won’t make headlines in the blog or chapters in any eventual book, it’s good for me to remember that this trip was filled with days like today.
Now, before I lay me down to sleep, I need to schedule the rest of my weekend. The job continues!
- Today’s T-shirt: New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
- Today’s states: 2 – North Dakota & Minnesota
- Miles driven today: 257
- Campuses visited today: 2 – North Dakota State University (again), Minnesota State University Moorhead
- Total TRECC states: 6
- Total Trip states: 35
- Total TRECC miles: 1838 or so
- Total TRECC campuses: 5
- Total Trip campuses: 96
- Time left until start of College Metro in Wake Forest, NC: 4 days, 9 hours as of 11pm Central Time
Written from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota (Minneapolis area)