I spent another lunch hour with the Stetson University BCM kids again today. They will be leaving early in the morning, so I said my goodbyes and then left to do my errands and get back to work.
I’m back in my office now, alone, with the worst case of homesickness.
Margie, their BCM director, is the only one I really knew from long, long ago. She amazes me. Even after all these years she remembered things about me and my years there. That made me feel like I was still a part of it all. It was a bond that may have gotten covered over with other things through the passage of time, but absolutely never broken.
The other 29 were people I just met this week, but somehow I had a connection with them as well. I have been in their shoes. I have slept in the same dorms. I have sat in the same classroom chairs under some of the same professors. I have loved some of the same people they love (some of their parents were my classmates). I sat on the same Allen Hall wood floor for Thursday night vespers. I have taken naps in the same library and been thrown in the same fountain. It’s funny what kinds of things draw you together.
Here I sit.
Thinking to myself, I just don’t have friends like that around here. I live so many miles and lifetimes away from who and where and what they are now.
Yes, I have some dear friends here and they are very precious to me. They are here and now. They know my life as it is now. They share my very present joys and challenges. I thank God for them often.
But it’s different.
I guess being around these kids this week has reminded me of who I used to be. At the very same time, it has also caused me to look more intently at who I am now. I can’t help but see the difference between the two.
No, I don’t really want to be 20 years old again. I mean, not all of it, anyway. If I could go back to only the good things about being 20, then yes, tell Marty McFly to please pull the DeLorean up the driveway. However, there were also all those days that included enough stupidity to make me want to stick my head (rather, my whole body) in the sand from all the embarrassment. Nope. Just don’t want to do that again.
The other, older, "now" part of it is, I don’t think I am all I’m supposed to be yet either. I have more experience at this “life” business, a little more common sense and a few more smarts than I did twenty years ago, but I’m not where I thought 20 years ago I would be by this time in my life. I thought I was supposed to have it all together and figured out by now.
But I don’t.
It all reminds me of one of the songs Jimmy used to sing at Thursday night vespers back then. I can’t remember who actually wrote it or recorded it (If you do, let me know!), but I do remember some of the lyrics went something like this:
I’m not who I wanna be
I’m not who I’m gonna be
But thank God I’m not who I was.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:1-10