Caps, Gowns, and Kleenex
May 22

I get a little more sentimental than usual this time of year. The end of the school year brings a mix of emotions. There is the celebration of the achievements and accomplishments, regardless of age, but there's also the emotion that comes with the conclusion of one chapter and the beginning of another. It's not as if we will never see a high school graduate ever again, as if they are beamed aboard a flying saucer, gone forever. And chances are they will ride home with you after the ceremony, sleep in their same bedroom, and hang around for a few weeks. But a new chapter is beginning. 

Our kids aren't graduating from high school and moving on to college, but our youngest is moving on to middle school and he/we will (most likely) never have a reason to hang-out at the elementary school ever again. Our middle child spent 1 year there, our youngest 5 years, and it seems weird to close that chapter. The teachers we have gotten to know, the rooms we would visit, and the rare and brief opportunities we were allowed to join them for lunch. That chapter is now closed. In August those classrooms, halls, and cafeteria will be filled with new students and the teachers, staff, and administrators will care for those kids as much as they cared for mine. Teaching is certainly a calling and one that rotates on a 9-month life cycle. 

There is this book in the Old Testament that talks about the seasons of life. It’s got a weird name - Ecclesiastes. We believe the book was written by wise King Solomon, later in his life as he reflects back on all that he has experienced. (It’s also the book that gave us the song Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds.) Do we think of these different seasons as holy? Do we believe that God is a part of them? Can we be OK closing an old chapter so that a new one can begin? If you get a little sentimental this time of year like I do, maybe we can find comfort in the reminder that life is full of seasons, and not just the seasons that mark our weather, but the seasons of our lives. The seasons when we are young and the seasons when we are old. The seasons when our kids are dependent on us and the seasons when they are more independent. The seasons that mark the beginning of something new, and the seasons when something is ending. What if all these seasons are holy? We can't begin a new chapter without ending another, and I know that's a holy experience and that God is a part of it, but I still may need some Kleenex.

Grace and Peace,


Last Published: May 23, 2019 12:07 PM