Monday, June 4, 2007

Shouldering My World

Last night I tried to clean out my closet. I never realized how many t-shirts hold sentimental value for me. I have so many homemade shirts from high school that I keep thinking my kids (you know, the ones I don't have yet) might get a kick out of wearing someday. Anyway, two bags later, my closet was a little emptier. My thoughts keep turning to California and Bible college. If my biggest problem is worrying about which clothes I can take and which clothes I must leave behind, then I am certainly faced with a weak middle class problem. And yet, for this weak sauce problem, I am deeply thankful.

On that note, my new "urban adventure" backpack arrived in the mail today. It's like a hiking pack but designed for airport travel (fewer straps) and hostel stays. It's bigger than I thought it would be, but it's also small in the sense that I will be trying to fit a week's worth of sunscreen, bug-spray, and clothes in it for my trip to Honduras with my church this summer. I am contemplating sending it back and getting the bigger 75 liter version. First, I will try to pack it with everything I think I will need for a one week trip and see how that goes because I know if I have the extra room I may use it for useless extras that probably do not need to make the thousands of miles trip to Honduras.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Upward and Onward

I am following my last letter up with a tale of my graduation day. Even though the left side of my face felt hot, I did not get sunburned on graduation day, but that’s not the best part. The best part was how magnified with meaning each experience of the day became.

I marched into the stadium to the flash of my mom’s camera and the smiles of my professors with my best friends in front and behind. The speeches were short (both under five minutes). The graduation song as sung by graduating choir members was horribly over-done but equally passionate and dripping with optimism (all about songs in our hearts and singing at the top of our lungs). The ceremony wrapped up with me and the other smarty-pants-students of the class of 2007 standing in front of our class and leading them in the turning of tassels. But I did not throw off my cap; I held on to my cap like I am holding on the sweet moments of that day.

My graduation party followed. I ate and visited with guests for nearly six hours. Besides being full of food, I was also full of joy and thankfulness at the end of the day. And now I keep thinking I have all of this homework to do, but I don’t. I ran the race of college to completion. Perhaps the finality of it all is what strikes me the most. This diploma means Phase 1 of life is over. Phase 2, the “rest of my life” phase, is wide open and gloriously appointed with choices and opportunity and joy and sorrow and the pulp of 21 years (22 on May 29) of accumulated potential.

Someone told me on Saturday that my graduation made him think how he has fewer days in front of him than days left behind. Assuming that I do in fact still have more days in front of me than the ones I have left behind (they disappear so quickly), I want to be as thankful for each day as I was for my graduation day.

Many asked me on Saturday if I had made any decisions about Bible college. An inscription on a graduation card reminded me that “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). I realize that I have been hoping to go to LIFE Pacific Bible College in San Dimas, CA since I was a junior in high school, so if my hope can stand as a symbol for something sure and certain then I need to go one step further. I am deciding in faith that I will go to LIFE in the fall. It is no accident that LIFE has been the school in my heart for these last five years, and I know that God will provide for me to go to the place(s) where He is sending me.

On that note, I am going to Honduras for a week this summer with my church. We will be breaking ground in a yet un-reached area outside of the city Comayagua. I will have opportunities to teach English and lead worship in Spanish! I desire to have at least five committed prayer partners to pray for me, (health, safety, ministry, and spiritual growth), the team (unity), and the Hondurans I have yet to meet. If any of you are expressly interested in learning more about the trip to Honduras and committing to pray for the team while there (July 28-Aug 5), please call or write or e-mail me immediately.

Thank you to each of you that celebrated with me on Saturday. And to those that sent me their love in a card, thank you for being there in spirit.