Four examples of the lastingness of temporary:
a) As I moved into my dorm room and adjusted the old window, several Hebrew flash cards came fluttering out, apparently having once been used to keep the window in place. I laughed thinking of how I have shared and will share some understanding with the previous resident, despite never meeting them, over the shared task of studying Hebrew. The previous resident has graduated seminary and now is on to a new adventure, yet the lastingness of the shared experience remains.
b) One of the librarians mentioned that the library was a place where one is physically surrounded by a ‘great cloud of witnesses’ (Hebrews 12:1), namely referring to the testimony of those who had looked to Jesus, walked in faith, and wrote about what they thought and encountered along the way. Even though their earthly experience was temporary, there is a lasting quality to it that remains to encourage and challenge us today.
c) I’ve jokingly called this orientation week my finals week, since I’ve taken five tests to try to waive courses that are similar to ones I took at Whitworth. Despite the extra stress it caused, taking those tests served as a reminder that I am building upon my previous experiences (see blogpost from June 6th about embracing culture for more thoughts along this line).
d) Long-distance friendships can still be life-giving. While we may no longer be singing the doxology as we leave the library at midnight, making late-night runs to the grocery store, and catching up over lunch in the garden, there is still a connection in that we once shared those particular experiences together. As several of my friends begin their seminary experience, return to Whitworth, and settle into new jobs, there is a potential (as in requires one to be intentional) for them to be lasting friendships. I’m looking forward to staying connected with people and creating new memories with new friends here that may also last beyond the temporary.
And finally two questions:
What does it look like to draw lastingness out of the temporary?
Where is the balance in treasuring the past while embracing the new?