Thursday, May 15, 2008

Without segue

I often begin these posts by noting the length of time it has been since I posted. I'm not sure why this is: it is a strange habit in any case, to behave as though you, my reader, are incapable of looking at the post directly below this one and seeing the date on which it was posted.

I sit here in a room which a week ago I had never stepped foot in, immensely comfortable with its being my home. I think of it as home, now. And I seamlessly made that transition in a 6 hour period. That is a strange feat indeed, and one I think that is unusual in the history of the world. Certainly humans have always been adaptable; but there is inevitably, in tales of rapid transition, a strong and distinct sense of the displacement. Yes, it is but a short distance that I have moved, but still, the fact that I have so readily adjusted speaks to the transitory nature of this stage of life, and to the almost ephemeral quality of a collegiate existence.

Life here happens without segue. There are few long smooth transitions in these four years, but instead abrupt jumps, both in location and task - from school to parents' house and back again, from classes to summer jobs and winter breaks and so on.

Personality transitions take longer, of course, mediated as they are by events and the pacing of God (nearly always different than the pacing we had envisioned), but they likewise tend to come in spurts. We suddenly find ourselves in a new position, and must quickly grow to cope. This undoubtedly is true in many stages of life, but I suspect the more so in this stage where circumstances themselves alter so rapidly.

It is not for nothing than the years immediately following high school - whether in college, a trade school, or a job - are seen as seminal and formative in the life of any individual. This is the time we have demarcated for self-identification and the establishment of personal responsibility. One may quibble with the choice of this as the particular time in which such action ought to be taken, but for now it simply is so. We make the leap - hopefully - from adolescent to adult in four (or often five) years. The real transition happens somewhere along the way, usually in a period of months, sometimes even weeks, when first we are confronted with true responsibility, and begin to stop reacting and begin acting.

A wise friend once commented to me that the difference between a boy and man is the difference between the statements, "It got lost," and "I lost it." He was right. There is a moment when we begin to decide for ourselves whether we shall decide for ourselves, or content ourselves instead with ever being indecisive beings who let others make decisions for us.

More fundamentally, there comes a time when we must ask ourselves where our priorities and commitments lie - above and beyond the wills or wishes of our parents (though it is certainly a blessing when we may be in accord with them). There is a moment when we choose what we believe about this life, and - just as importantly - why we believe thus.

I have chosen to pursue Jesus Christ with all of my heart, for all of my days: to make the glory of God the Father revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit my one and only purpose in this life.

I have done so not because my parents are Christians - though praise be to God for their salvation, and gratitude fills my heart for their faithfulness - nor because it is easy - for it is not - but because Christ is true, and His glory an end worth dedicating a life to. No other aim could be so lofty, so rewarding, so true.

I sit here in this desk, striding forward toward the future confident of the purposes that God has for me though I know not what they are, weeks from being 21, and grasp the world in new ways: and grasp most of all how much still eludes me. Our vision remains constrained in this age, and in this is the seed of both doubt and trust: doubt from the flesh, and trust from the Spirit. Though the way before is rarely clear, we know on whom we stand.

And so it is that in a season of life absent segues, when change hurtles upon me day by day and transitions are rarely more than a day in length, it is to the solid rock that I have found my feet planted by the grace of God: that very same grace, on which my entire life is built.

I hope to write here every day this summer, beginning today: not so much for you, the reader, as for me, the writer: for my writing must continue to grow and mature, and it shall not do so unless I am writing.

As for what the future holds... we shall see. Undoubtedly it will be a surprise in every way.

- Chris

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad your transition to the new room was smooth. Life often has times when we have less than smooth transitions from one thing to another. God provides the ways for us to walk through each one though, so long as we are trusting in Him as we journey.

    Miss ya.
    -- Papa


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