Through the Covid Pandemic also known as a black swan event, we can glean greatly from Nassim Nicholas book The Black Swan. I found myself in a place of needing to sit a little longer and try something new, which was drinking tea. In the lounge of the hotel I sat and enjoyed good company with Michael, Daron, and my cohort. I enjoyed intellectual conversations that went deeper as we shared, listened, thought, and prayed. As I enjoyed the architecture of Cape Town, as a builder specializing in concrete work, I honored the precision of craftsmanship and history that went into this city heavily influenced from the Dutch.
In Cape Town, in our hotel, there was order, a consistent schedule, most of all a bed I could sleep without being disturbed. I found myself wanting to just sit and have another London Fog. To be present in the moment, to enjoy the moment. I found myself in a place of history, intellect, architecture, a very diverse and economic challenged city. A place I did not want to leave, as in this place I was safe from all the problems and challenges I face back home. I got a phone call from my wife with some good news and bad news. The good news was our daughter Addy was out of ICU and the bad news a person crashed through our fence and into the side of the church.
I realized in this moment I was very fragile. A feeling I was not used to and did not like, after all I am used to winning. I have the gift of faith, God is with me, no weapon formed against me shall prosper! So why do I feel this way? I know as a pastor I should not feel this way. I walked 12-15 miles a day but could not escape this feeling of being inadequate. I could not punch my way out of this situation or feeling, I could not work enough, or walk it off. Everything was going wrong in my life back home, I wanted to sit a little longer in Cape Town and have another London Fog. As Nassim points out in his conclusion of Antifragile: Things Gained From Disorder I realized I was not entirely in control and I was subject to greater powers than myself.
The Secret History of Oxford
In Paul Sullivans book The Secret of Oxford I realized that I was not an “Oxford Man.” My dad could be an Oxford Man, but not me. These are great literature giants of history and I struggle with writing and communication. Most of the time, I’m in stained cargo shorts from grease and food debris from feeding the poor. I have gained weight from not taking care of myself, I wonder would I still fit into my suit? How much weight can a person lose in 3 weeks? Would I be rejected from faculty and students from Oxford? Do we homeschool our daughter with special needs so she does not get sick before going to London? Do I shut down the church and all ministries so nothing goes wrong while I’m in London?
In My Father’s House
I realized through the summer, I have had a little anxiety about London. As London is one of my last thresholds of becoming a doctoral student, I will be stepping into that new place the Lord has invited me into. Most of all, I will be in my Fathers House at Christ Church. In this place, my Father welcomes me and us into a new place and experience with Him. That in this program, God has given us a seat not only at His table, but at one of the most prestigious places in the world.
As I prepare for Oxford and stepping out of System 1 thinking and into System 2 thinking. I realize that I am not an Oxford Man or never will be. But the good news is that I’m God’s man, that is enough for me. I think I will sit a little longer in London and enjoy another London Fog with friends.
 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. The Black Swan. Penguin Books, 2008.
 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Antifragile. Penguin Books, 2013.
 Paul Sullivan, The Secret History of Oxford (The History Press, 2013).
Kahneman, Daniel, 1934- author. Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York :Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.
 Luke 2:49 And He said to them, “why do you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Fathers business?