Friday, July 20, 2018

What To Do When There is a Change Of Plans

Today I received the long-awaited letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services inviting me to appear for a Naturalization Oath Ceremony on July 25th at the Los Angeles Convention Center at 7:45 a.m.! I was very excited to receive this letter. It arrived approximately three weeks earlier than what the Immigration Officer who tested me on American civics had indicated last week at my test.

This is cause for great celebration!

Just to give you a quick review. When I applied for my resident alien card, the Immigration lawyer told me to make certain I was not out of the country when I was required to attend an interview. For over twenty years, I assumed that the same would go for citizenship. It was an incorrect assumption. I finally checked and I was free to come and go as I please (as long as I had my necessary documents with me.)

It has been a great lesson for me.

The one wrinkle in July 25 is that I had plans to leave for Canada to attend my nephew's 25th anniversary celebration that very same day. My flight was scheduled for late in the day, so it would almost work except I have to surrender my green card when I am at the swearing-in ceremony. What that means to all my American friends who have not had to deal with resident alien cards, I would be able to leave the United States, but I would not be able to legally return. So I immediately contacted the passport office to see how long it would take to get a passport.

Jason, a young man in the State Department travel office was very helpful. One cannot apply for a passport until you have PROOF of citizenship. I will get a certificate stating my citizenship at the ceremony but until I have that proof, I cannot get a passport. And without a passport, I cannot travel.

So with Jason's help, I got an appointment, in Los Angeles at a regional passport office to get an expedited passport in the afternoon of the ceremony at 2:30 p.m. It is too late to catch a flight to Saskatoon.

It feels like a very full day.

One of my students calls Spirit, the Divine Scheduler! I love that notion. I am responsible to do my part, be clear about what I want, and then the Universe does the rest. God decides when the "what" will happen. How interesting it is to note that I have been here in the United States for 25 years and there have been very few scheduling conflicts that couldn't be handled with grace and ease.

Another idea that occurs to me is to write a sacred oath for our spiritual well-being. The sacred oath is a long version of the pledge of allegiance. It is quite beautiful! But it did make me wonder if we ever think about our commitment to our spiritual growth and unfoldment. My colleague Rev. Dr. David Ault published one a few weeks ago. I am sharing it with you below.