Sunday, December 31, 2017

"Good Old Days"

It was about month ago that I was driving home from work one day. It’s about a thirty-minute drive and I decided to have the radio on. Typically, I listen to the country music station, but this day, I decided to listen to an alternative rock station. The song that came on was “Good Old Days” by Macklemore and featuring Kesha. Full disclaimer, I’m not a hip hop or rap fan. It’s two of my least favorite musical genres. But for some reason, I decided to listen to the song all the way through and it became one of my favorite songs.

The morals of the song are that don’t let the good days pass you by and that no matter where we are in life, we are always going to miss a part of our past. There is one line in the chorus that particularly struck me, as it affects where I am in my life right now: “Someday soon your whole life is going to change, you’ll miss the magic of these good old days”.

2017 was a good year. I would even put it under the “Good old days” category later in life, along with my time at Barton College, working with the RCYW, ancient family holiday traditions, and growing up at Wake Forest Christian Church. And I know that come next year, my life will change.

2018 will be full of changes. I’ll graduate with my Masters. I’ll be ordained as a minister. I will be working full time and no longer be a student. And these are only the changes I am aware of.

As I wonder how much my life will change just around the corner, it makes me reflect on the “good old days” of just this past year.

I took ten different classes at Brite Divinity this year including: Pastoral care within the congregation, pastoral care as a response to aging, interpreting the Hebrew bible, history of Christian ethics, Christian worship, narrative pastoral counseling, Christian Church Disciples of Christ, Supervised ministry I, exegesis on the book of Job, and Christian theology of religions.

In the Spring and the Fall, I continued my work as the ministry intern at Ridglea Christian Church. At Ridglea, I lead several Sunday schools, youth groups, and even a few adult classes. I assisted with three funerals. I preached four times, including a Stewardship and Advent type sermon. I visited people in the hospital and nursing homes. I assisted people who were struggling with homelessness. And I even had the opportunity to lead an entire worship service as the acting ministerial figure in April.

I counseled my first JYF retreat in January, the first annual autism retreat in October, and the Chi-Rho fall retreat in November all at Disciples Crossing camp.

I took on a part time job at a private organization called Valet Waste, in which my position required that I collect trash from people’s apartments to local trash dumpsters.

I moved from my apartment in Fort Worth and into a new apartment in Arlington with my good friend Stephen.

I watched my best friend, Mary, walk across the Barton College stage and achieve her Bachelors in Religious Studies (with the Greek language) and Math.

I had one of the most interesting summer experience as I worked for the first time at UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC as an Intern Chaplain. My time as a Chaplain required to me to think critically about not only my theory but my practice of providing care for patients, family, and staff who are entering some of the hardest moments in their life. Not only that, but my time as a Chaplain required that I learn more about who I am and my identity as a future minister.

I entered into a relationship with my boyfriend, Charlie, and the times we have shared together have been some of the best moments of my life thus far.

I had my third meeting with the Commission on Ministry in North Carolina, in which I am now one more meeting away from being approved for Ordination.

I enjoyed many memorable moments with my friends in seminary, including but not limited to: Halloween party, Friendsgiving, Squadmas, and game nights.

And I ended the year by watching my good friend Josh marry his husband Andrew.

The approaching new year tends to make us think about all that’s happened this past year. And sometimes, we often regret that those memories are now gone. That’s why we call them “good old days”.

While the moments we experienced this year are now past, that doesn’t mean our “good old days” are now gone. I affirm that many good old days are ahead of us. And it’s when we spend too much time thinking about our past, that we can easily miss what we have right in front of us.

I will admit, though there were plenty of moments this year that I loved, there are just as many moments I missed. I don’t want to enter the 2018 year missing more moments and spending time regretting that I missed them later.

So as we enter the 2018 year, may you embrace all the new good old day moments that appear in front of you. Take the time to be with friends, enjoy the flowers so to speak, and make each day a new memorable moment in your life.

May your being be filled with Peace, Love, and your entire Ruah.