This morning when I woke up and looked at the date I could hardly believe we are already half-way through April! Where has this year gone? It seems like only yesterday we were sitting together as a student staff writing our covenant. I remember sitting in that room and being in complete awe of my co-workers. I realized I was surrounded by an incredible group of people and I couldn’t wait to get started with the year. Now, as I sit here and write this I cannot believe that our year is coming to a close. We have a month left and I know it will fly by. But as this year comes to its end I am starting to feel torn and a little bit confused.
As could be said by every member of our staff, the next four months are coming with a lot of change. For many, they are graduating from Calvin and are looking at the next phase of life, for others we are coming back to Calvin, but in a completely different way. For me, I will be student teaching. I am still a student at Calvin by my time on campus will be limited next school year and my year will look much different from my previous years at Calvin. With this being said, I find myself struggling with the idea of presence and what it means for me to be present in this community while continually looking forward and preparing for the community I am about to enter in to.
In our covenant we dedicated four questions to the idea of presence. Each one deals with a different aspect of this idea but the one that I am continually asking myself is the second question, “What does it mean to be fully present in a place? What does it look like?” This is what I continually come back to. What does it mean for me to be present in this office and in the broader Calvin community while also preparing myself to leave? How do I remain fully present here while anticipating my soon move to an entirely new community?
I have been asking these questions for a while now and have yet to reach any sort of conclusion. I have no idea. But, isn’t that what our covenant is all about, living the questions? I can honestly say I am living this question every second of each day. But I also know that I do not walk this journey alone. This past summer a friend of mine introduced me to this prayer and I find it fitting with where I am today:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us.
This simple prayer by Mother Theresa reminds us all that we don’t need to worry, because we are where God wants us to be. So how do we remain present when we are soon leaving? I don’t know. But I do know and take comfort in the fact that God is walking this journey with us and although we are at a crossroads, He knows what will happen next. So, to my fellow staff members who I now lovingly call friends, may you find peace within and may you know that you are where you are meant to be. And even with all the uncertainty that comes with a new phase of life, you will continue to be exactly where God has meant for you to be.