Sunday, July 27, 2014

Acknowledging Transitions

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on," Robert Frost

I played handbells for eleven years of my life.  I'm not currently playing, but I could again someday.  I'm fairly good at it, but that's besides the point.  I played in my church handbell choir growing up and then joined Baylor's when I came to Baylor.  I was one of the only people who remained in it all eight semesters of undergrad.

My second year in the group we got a new director.  One of the things that I remember him saying quite often was that the group would never be the same.  After each semester people would leave or have scheduling conflicts that enabled them to play.  The group that we had grown and unified with would never exactly be together again.

This is college.  People come and go.  They flutter in and out of our lives and in the groups that we interact with.  New jobs arise, times to travel arise, and things change.  People go serve in Africa, people move to different churches, take new positions, or just go travel in search of themselves and for healing.  And sometimes life takes turns we weren't expecting.

People have a need to be constantly moving.  We have this need to shake the itch that we can feel from staying in one place for too long.  Stillness can often be comforting, but there's a difference between being still in a moment to enjoy it and becoming complacent.  Complacency leads to change out of necessity.

I've found that in my life, I want to shift and change.  I want to go to graduate school, move across the country, take a job, travel the world, get married, have kids, etc. etc.  But I think, at least for me, that while we long to change, we secretly want the rest of the world to remain at least somewhat the same.  For those old friends to be there when we come back.  For the university that we dearly love and spent years at learning and developing into the essence of who we are, to somehow leave that little smudge that we made on a wall.  To resist the urge to paint over it.  The itch we feel for the scent of our childhood homes.  We have a need to feel needed among the past.

I've been doing a lot of yoga lately.  A yoga bar opened up in Waco recently, and this summer I decided to join in the fun.  Over the past two months I have seen myself get physically and emotionally stronger, heal my broken wounds, and to learn to love myself and my body more.  Everyday after yoga we practice meditation.  Meditation gets a bad rep in Christian circles (see previous blogpost), but in all essence, it is just emptying the mind to be in the current moment.  Acknowledging the past and the future, but focusing on now.  Acknowledging what God has given you, what is yet to come, and basking in the one that he has given now.

The other day I envisioned blank pages in a journal that I am working through.  The pages before have been full of things I'm learning and the troubles of the day.  The pages I will write on have yet to be filled.  But in that moment there is blankness.  There is now and now only.  Time to focus on my breath that God gave me.

Things will change and people will go away.  I will go away.  Goodbyes won't become easier.  Relationships won't become less meaningful, nor memories less precious.  But when we have hope, we long towards more than just what is.  We long for what is yet to come.

This is change.  This is college.  This is adulthood.  This is life.  This is death.  And in the words of Bob Dylan, "the times they are a changin'".  Time to grab on, 'cause it's not slowing down.

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