Snow comes and goes in what has been yet another bizarre January, with temperatures spanning 60 degrees over just a week. And as we gaze out the windows of our different classes, at grey skies and the snowy or grassy landscape, I invite us to remember that not all of us look out with the same eyes.
Some of us stare with fresh eyes, invigorated by completing our first semester of Seminary. Some of us look out with a sense of seasonedness, having a couple of Michigan’s eccentric winters under our belt and many semesters too.
And for some, eyes glaze over with a sense of nostalgia and the strange knowledge that this is our last winter in CTS, maybe even in Michigan.
The surrealness of the semester before graduation affects everything. It puts a countdown timer on the most mundane activities. The doughnut after chapel becomes not just another doughnut, but the 12th last doughnut (or 11th or 10th). The assignment is not just an assignment, but the 2nd last paper, or sermon, or clausal delimitation.
Everywhere they look, the graduating find more and more reminders of the bittersweet knowledge that they will be done in just a few months.
Those of us who aren’t graduating miss this entirely. We’re so often caught up in the world of assignments, books, and homework that we cannot imagine that there is really an end to it all. But the graduating see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that somethings really do finish.
I invite those of us who will remain past May to put on the hats of those who are graduating, even if for a minute. Because if we did, we might realise some interesting things. Like that the opportunities we now enjoy will not always be there, and that the people we see everyday now will, in the near future, be very far from us. On the other hand, the things that we hate now will not last, and the people we can’t bear to see will one day be very far from us (not that there is actually anybody at seminary you can’t bear to see).
And I invite those of us who are graduating to put on the hats of the remaining. Because if we did, we might realise that this feeling of finality lingering in the back of our throats is not, in a sense, real. Yes, we will graduate. Yes, we will move on. But the things we have learnt will stay with us. And the people we have met will continue to intersect with our lives.
Every day is an end, and every day is a beginning. And every day is just another day until Christ returns.
Have a great semester.