And So the Story Goes
A person’s life is a lot like a book. You have a beginning, an end, and all the story in the chapters between. As my story continues, some chapters become harder to end than others and while history has shown the next chapter is as good, often better, than the last, it is hard to negate the emotions of one part of the story coming to a close. Still there is great comfort in the fact that while the chapter may end, the story does not.
Here we are then, the end of another chapter. I often tell myself, and others, that I am not an emotional person, but in reality, no matter how hard I try to deny the fact, that just is not true. Today sort of feels like that blank page you often find in books, between chapters, still there is no denying, another ending has ended, and tomorrow another beginning begins. It is hard to sum up an entire year in words, I guess that is why I keep a blog, so I can do it as I go, but it would not be a lie to say, I mean if you held a gun to my head and forced me to say what I thought, that this past year has been good.
The Good Life
When I say the past year has been “good” that does not mean it has always been easy, nor does that mean I have always been happy. This year has been good in the sense that every love, every loss, the wars, the peace, the wins, the losses, the successes, and the failures, every one of them, whether or not I felt that way at the time, has been good. Our Christian life is only as good as the lessons we learn, and the growth we experience, and the day we think we have arrived, unless we are dead, then we might as well stop, because unless we are in a constant balance of living and learning, there really is no other point is there? This year I have lived and I have learned, sometimes more than I expected, other times less than I wanted, but at the end of the day I have no doubt that I have followed Him, both faithfully and even faithlessly.
Thomas Freeman once said “God is more concerned with faithful service, than He is visible results.” I do not think Thomas even remembers saying this, but since the day he said it in a Prophets class I took at New Tribes, it has stuck with me ever since. Even though at times my service has been as faithless as what it has faithful, I have continued to move forward, visible results or not, and because of that, I have seen His work in my life as well as the lives others. That is what makes it all worthwhile.
In Dedication to
What I am saying now is to my peers just as it is to myself. When it comes to criticizing Christianity, I am always one of the first to do so, and for all of Christianities faults, at Emmaus Bible College this year, I have seen its hope, and its strength. Whether that is in my R.A. who, especially for a 20 year old, understands the spirit of grace more than many do in a lifetime, those folks who sing hymns in the stairwell after chapel, the people I really do not know, but see them doing faithful and encouraging acts, the People of Prayer, who despite small numbers, pray diligently week after week, or the teachers who were once in our shoes, and invest in us now. For all the ways God has worked through and used this community of believers, in my life, as well as, the lives of others over the course of the past year, I am incredibly thankful. All of that said, I cannot wait to see what He has for me and this community in the next school year.
The Next Chapter
For now I am moving on to something new, something different, I leave tomorrow to spend three and a half months at Village Creek Bible Camp. It has to be a God thing, as I am not really the camp type. I consider this a brief detour from the Emmaus Road. Okay, a lame joke, but I could not resist. After each school year, I feel as if camp is a summer long exam, causing me to put the rubber of my my theology to the road of life, testing me in all that I have lived and learned throughout the previous semesters. While there I will be doing everything from speaking and teaching, to washing dishes and who knows what else. That is what my summer holds.
Peers, friends, readers, and anyone else, whatever our summer holds, wherever our story takes us, may our next chapter be a continued tale of learning, of living, and hopefully growing. Let us invest our summer, not waste it, not spend it, but invest it, into is His work, into knowing Him and into making Him known. Our Christian life should not be a treasure trove guarded by a dragon with the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, growing old, going nowhere, but a constant outpouring and giving of ourselves for Him and for others.
On to the next chapter. To those of you leaving my story, regardless of if I see you soon or in eternity, it is only temporary, I look forward to seeing you again, whichever the case may be and for those I will see this summer, I am excited for His plans and what He has in store for us.
To Be Continued. . .