Yes, hold onto peace with everything you got, even if you have to fight for it.
In a world where salt is a side dish and fish and chips go without ketchup and tartar sauce, something new emerges…
When I first went to college, I said I was never going to study abroad. I can remember deliberately tuning out every time the questions in a admissions Q&A turned again to foreign studies programs and telling myself how exciting it would be to go to the same school with the same people for a whole four years.
Man, that’s changed.
It was so random that I ended up here. I know how I want to spend my retirement, where I want to work, what I want to name my kids, where I want to go to law school, and I’ve been planning my thesis since freshman year, but I broke out old grammar textbooks to dust my mental cobwebs and write a 300 word Madrid application essay two days before it was due.
Coming into Wes, I wanted roots and stability. I wanted all my close relationships to last. In retrospect, I don’t think that’s even possible in college. It violates the basic nature structure of the educational system. Wes is 13 hours from home. I get four months there, one month in Indiana, four months back at Wes, four more months wherever I so choose (so far, DC and NYC), and even if I hadn’t up and left this semester, my friends still would have.
Yes, I finally have those close relationships I wanted. I know everyone in my net of people who would drop everything and run if I needed him or her, but knowing that your loved doesn’t mean the people that love you are always around, like, I don’t know, when you skip the pond and temporarily move to another country.
Life is transitory, and sure, someday, soon enough, I’ll find George Bailey and let him lasso the moon, have 2.2 kids, and live in the same place for fifty years, but before I get there, I’m going to see everything I can.
Because I think there is something special about short-term transitory relationships too. I think about the hundreds of people I’ve met in my four-month-long homes and wonder about the impact I am having on them. Is it even existent? What will they remember? These questions aren’t coming from a narcissistic point of view. I’m just wondering if who I really am is reflected to everyone, and if it’s not, what’s wrong with me.
I want people to see Jesus in me, and not in a preachy Jaimie in a pink sweater kind of way, but in a way that shows that I care more about them than myself. That’s a lot to live up to, and a lot to show when you only have a short time with someone.
If I’m serious about living for the good of other people thing, it really ought to be obvious. Daily life doesn’t seem like that big of deal, until I think about it in a bigger picture. I know a lot of people who have literally never interacted with a real Christian before, which means my freaking out about missing class because I mistakenly went to the wrong classroom and then not not knowing how to gracefully excusing myslef, sat stuck for and hour and half look a little out of perspective. My every reaction ought to be reflection of Christ.
I’m around so many people who really don’t care about God or acknowledge His existence, and I totally get that, but in the very least, I want them all to see how I serve them because of what is happening in me because of Him.
So, I’ll grip every moment I have, knowing that the difference between short term and long term relationships, is that now, in the short term, I’m never going to get another chance.