Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Post-It: The End?

To whomever,
You ever get that refreshing feeling after you have just finished an awesome book you've been reading for a while? You know, the feeling of accomplishment mixed with pride and add in a little relief? Or, most importantly, maybe you feel enlightened or rejuvenated because you've just closed a book that taught you so much about life? Recently, I have been entertaining the idea that our lives might just be like a book. Filled with protagonists, antagonists, themes, plots, foils, climaxes, beginnings, and ends, it's the story of our lives.
In just a few short days I am going to be saying goodbye to a lot of people who, throughout the course of three months, I've grown close to. It's not easy for me to say goodbye. In fact, I dread it, but it's a part of life. It feels like this is the end of us, or as we like to say the end of "OT10." Sure, I may see some of these people again, but I will not get to serve with them in any respect like this summer. We traveled over 11,000 miles together, we ministered to thousands of students in the name Christ, and we spent almost every waking moment in each others midsts. Indeed, saying goodbye is going to be hard, but not impossible.
I've started cataloguing the events and memories of this summer and sort of processing them into the grand scheme of things in my life. Specifically, I've tried to bookmark all the things I will walk away from this summer and say "I am stronger now." My heart is at peace with God. Walking in step with 25 wonderful people who are walking in step with the God who reigns has a way of bringing you closer to the Kingdom. Back to my goodbyes. Goodbye van world: Backstreet Boys, Man Van, and NeedtoBreath; goodbye late night dance parties: krumping, swinging, and whatever Tucker wants to call his dancing; goodbye to the laughs and smiles of everyone OT10: jam sessions with Brett, Trent, and Ryan, volleyball with brother and sister, and Fourth of July with the most patriotic people I know. I completely agree with Alyssa Atkeisson, "Camp is what you make it," and we made it great. I will look back with nothing but fondness and laughter.
I'm turning a new page, and I'm leaving one of the best chapters of my life. If my life was a book, this would be the chapter that would recharge the plot of the entire book: a love story with the prodigal Father who loves me. Instead of closing the book on this summer, I hope to see where the story goes from here. God is creating a novel, a work of art, that is going to reflect his glory. My only hope is that we all allow this summer to bring us closer to the way God wants to live our lives.
So maybe this goodbye will be hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way. God is growing my capacity for love. Hopefully one day I will love like he loves. It should be difficult to say goodbye to people you love, not because you can't let them go, but because you have allowed yourself to be vulnerable with them and God has blessed that. My heart is leaving this summer with 25 more people to love. 25 more people to encourage and be encouraged by. 25 people to call brothers and sisters in Christ. In my opinion, my heart is now 25 times stronger and 25 times bigger. Thanks OT10.
- Alex