A week and a half ago, during the drive back up to school I made this list of things I was thankful for.
Friends who periodically lose their voices
The opportunity to read books and write papers
My sister’s slackline
Leaves on trees
Driving by myself
The promise of summer jobs
The perhaps of eventual teaching jobs
Computer battery life
Mothers who sew things magically overnight like the tailor of Gloucester’s mice friends
Not wearing make-up
Chairs that recline
Not going to the dentist
The fact that there is a man named Roger Beverage running for Sherriff Somewhere in West Virginia
Small boys In Subway with bowl cuts
The Family Pantry
The interim between then and now has contained some less than pleasant days, but let me tell you some nice things.
-Sarah and I are officially living on third floor West next year, with a bathroom all to ourselves. I will forever remember MEP with fondness, but can promise not to miss it in the slightest.
-I registered for classes last night, and (along with Pre-Calc and Baby Physics) am taking Creative Writing, Sacrament and Lit, and Fantasy Lit next semester. Wonderful, wonderful.
-Today I got up and dressed up for Friday for the first time in quite a while. Then, with the rest of my Educational Policy class, I went to Dr. Edwards’ lecture for the Vision and Values conference, instead of watching the movie he’d assigned us for our class hour. He sent us an email later which said “You all are very kind. Disobedient. But kind.”
-This afternoon Laura and I went on a walk down Pinchalong, and sat on the edge of a cornfield for about twenty minutes. The field was raised so right at eyelevel we could see the stubble of the stalks all crowded round with big bright dandelions, and behind them were barely-leafy trees and a grand blue sky. There was sun and wind and roosters from that one weird house crowing in the distance. We decided that it was almost like finding Nowhere.
-In a few minutes I have a date with Heidi and Maddie to discuss making a big old wonderful breakfast for the Family Pantry in a couple weeks. Then I’m going to children’s theatre, then to finally watch that movie with the girls from Ed Policy.
I can easily describe this year in one word: humbling. I can no longer seem be able to do anything the way I’d like, or be anything I think I ought to be able to be. I am incapable, broken. Sometimes I feel like those words must be written on my forehead. I know that this is God “breaking the back of foolish pride,” and it is good, but it has been long. Every time I think I must surely, surely have learned enough, something else I had been counting on breaks down, and I must run for cover to the Rock. I must keep returning to Him till I clearly see that all else really is sinking sand. The first verse of one of my favorite hymns ends in this way:
Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought or hoped or known;
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own.
That, I suppose, is the lesson of the year. My condition is rich. I have faithful friends whose goodness continues to bless me, I have truly wonderful parents who will love me no matter what, I have two wonderful homes (at the very least), I have clothes and books and papers and pencils which make me quite happy, and I’m getting a really good liberal arts education, for heaven’s sake! Yet I have all these things by the grace of God. They are His. And, by the grace of God, so am I.