Winding Down…and Up.

The year is winding down at ONU.  Well, “winding down” is not really an accurate phrase, because the frenzy of activity that’s taking place indicates to me that it’s more like a “sprint to the finish.”  Students are feverishly preparing final papers and projects, and studying for exams.  Faculty are writing exams, leading study sessions, and helping students with those last minute details that need to be taken care of before the year comes to a screeching halt.  And, once it’s all over, the faculty have to grade all those papers, projects, and exams.  On the staff side, we’re all preparing for the “big event.”  Commencement preparations have been underway for weeks now, but they have kicked into high gear over the last few days.  Everyone is working so hard to make sure that everything is in place, and that the campus looks picture perfect (literally!) for commencement weekend.  

Over in the Chapel, we’ve been preparing for our final worship service for the entire community, which happened yesterday.  It was a great celebration of all the things God has done in our community throughout this year.  I am so grateful for all the wonderful students God has put in my path, and for all the encounters I’ve had with this special group in worship, meetings, the coffee shop, and in my office.  Now, we’re putting the final touches on Commencement Chapel, which will be a celebration for graduating seniors and their parents and families before the awarding of all the degrees.  It’s a chance to pause and thank God for all the blessings of the last 4 (or 5 or 6) years.  

So much has happened in this, my first year on campus at ONU.  I’ve learned so much, and been so blessed by all the people I’ve met.  I am already looking forward to next year, and to the many years after that!  

This summer, when it’s supposed to be “quiet” around here, I’ll be busy planning for 2013-14, getting all those projects accomplished that I put off this year.  One of the biggest projects will be getting our new volunteer coordination platform, “Get Connected ONU,” off the ground and ready for introducing the program to our freshmen students at summer orientation sessions.  I’ll also be dreaming–thinking about what comes next after this year’s successes, and asking God to show me where Religious Life and the Chapel are being called in the future.  That’s a great thing, because dreaming is one of the things I most love to do!  It’s such a pleasure to know that I get the chance to step back and do just that this summer.  

I’ll also be taking it a bit easy, with some family vacation time, and I’m looking forward to weekends at home or out camping with the family.  I never would have thought that I would look forward to taking care of the house and the lawn, but I am!  

What about you?  What do you have planned for the summer?  Whatever it is, I hope you’ll be open to the movement of God’s Spirit, and that you’ll take some time to relax, recharge, and reconnect with your own spirit.  The growing season of the year can be a great time for personal and spiritual growth as well.  May God bless you, and may you go forth and just “be.”

In Peace, not in Pieces,

 

David

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