All good things… involve books – that’s what you thought I was going to say right? Actually our trip has ‘come to an end’ and it was good, but I thought I’d take some time in this post to comment on the books I read. Its not a holiday if it doesn’t involve some reading!
As some of you would know I have started writing a book about bi-vocational mission and ministry and its value to the church. Much of it is drawn from my own experience and from the experience of pastors around Oz. I had thought of doing further study in this area, but I actually just want to write a readable and helpful book – not an academic treatise. Either way it involves research and study beyond what I would normally do. And in the process of that research I find myself heading down various rabbit holes and getting deeper and deeper. The whole question of vocation has been intriguing and while I started with Luther and his ‘revised’ understanding of vocation during the reformation, I somewhere stumbled across Miroslav Volf as a contrary voice to that of the reformers. And he has some excellent stuff to say.
As we were travelling I was reading Miroslav Volf’s book ‘Work in the Spirit’, where he takes issue with Luther’s understanding of vocation and suggests that what Luther envisioned suited an age where a person generally stayed in one position for life and it rarely changed. In modern times where careers change 5 or 6 times Luther’s idea doesn’t work as well, so he proposes a view of vocation that is both pneumatologically and eschatologically based. In short he suggests we see our gifts (charisms) as indicators of our calling and that we view the goal of work as to live as if we were in the new creation – to redeem and restore the parts that are ‘broken’. That’s a super short summary of a very dense but valuable read.
I don’t think I will be finished writing any time soon as I keep learning and having my thinking challenged. It’s actually quite invigorating. So Volf was my first book – not really a holiday read, but I needed that space to really focus.
As well as this I managed to get thru the Pianist of Yarmouk, an autobiographical story of a Palestinian/Syrian refuge and his struggle to get out of the devastation of Syria. A tough read, but worth the effort. A ‘Quarterly’ essay free on Kindle was The Prosperity Gospel – How Scott Morrison won and Bill Shorten lost, a bit of an insight into what went down in the last election. Just a quick read and not that fascinating. And over the last few days I have started into A Watermelon, a Fish and a Bible, by Christy Lefteri. It wasn’t a ‘big reading’ holiday by any stretch, but that’s ok.
To finish the journey, we left Crystal Springs and after wandering for a short while, finished up at ‘Sid’s Camp’ just out of Northcliffe, a super cheap campground on private property where you can stay for $5/night/person and $10 if you want power – so $20/night for us – check it out on Wiki-Camps. Cheap as chips for a very cool set up. We spent two nights there and shared it with a bunch of grey nomads who were also enjoying the warm vibe and the budget prices. We figured out that if we somehow lost our jobs and all of our cash, we could probably survive at Sid’s place for a long time with those sorts of prices! While there we made a trip down to Windy Harbour, a beautiful spot with some funky old houses all built very close to the ocean.
From Sid’s we headed north to Greenbushes, which is a little town really well set up for free camping. It was just an overnight stop, but it’s a town that has gone to a bit of trouble to make their village interesting with plaques down the main street on every house giving some history of what they were ‘back in the day.’ We ate at home, but the two pubs there look like they do a decent feed too.
It seemed each day ended with ‘where to now?…’ This time the answer was Bunbury! Why?… Because we have never actually spent any time there and the Bunbury council were offering some free camping right on the beachfront. We pulled in across from back-beach and a cafe. It was on a main drag, but pretty cool that a busier place had made the space for travellers like this. We spent over $1000 in town so the local businesses did ok out of us 🙂 (Danelle bought a new phone…)
But one night was enough. When you have been living remote and camping in quiet places, being in a city just doesn’t feel good. We left Bunbury with enough grunt in the battery for one more night of free camping. As we surveyed Wikicamps the choice was Drakebrook Weir just out of Waroona, a beautiful spot again to chill for a quiet night. There were 3 or 4 of us in the are that night and it was another great discovery.
With two nights to go we decided to move towards Fremantle for a final stop and ended up in the caravan park at Woodman point, not such a great idea when I discovered we were just 50m from a main road. Instead of waking to silence or to birds we woke to traffic – trucks – buses – horns… Hmmm… Still we enjoyed those final two nights before heading home on Wednesday, a day early, but thinking we’d like some time to clean up after the month away.
So endeth the trip and beginneth the clean up!