Reading, Teaching, Learning

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Alpha and Omega



     I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week's theme topic is ENDINGS and BEGINNINGS.

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." - Isaiah 43:18-19

"I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." - Revelation 22: 13

     It's funny that May, a season of new life and an abundance of spring growth, should be punctuated by graduations, which seem like endings.   Tearful goodbyes, reflective speeches, scrapbooks full of memories, and wistful songs permeate the occasion.  High schools and beloved universities become alma maters, and students become alumni.  Fight songs are played one last time while best friends sway and sing,  already missing each other.  

     My husband and I sat in the stands (in the rain) of Yager Stadium at Miami University last weekend, watching our daughter and friends end their four years together, hardly believing that this era was closing.  How could the end come this fast?  It seemed like yesterday that we were moving her and Hannah into Tappan Hall, and a couple of the girls in her corridor came to her room bearing bags of "puppy chow" to share.  One of them, Katie, said her mom told her it would be a good way to make friends.  Well, right she was!  Those girls, and four others, became Libby and Hannah's best friends, guardian angels, and lifesavers at Miami.  They ended up living together again in Scott Hall the following year, and continued to live together in an apartment on Sycamore Street for their junior and senior years.  How could it be that all that was over?

      But then, at the apartment after the ceremony, one of the girls said she heard someone say that graduation wasn't the end of those friendships, it was just the beginning, and I started thinking about that.  Well, of course!  God has designed everything in our lives to be new beginnings.  Jesus made sure of that.  When everyone at the cross thought that an ending had occurred, Jesus knew it was just the beginning of something greater.  Gold DOES stay.  While graduations mean things are changing (and that can be hard), they don't mean the end.  They mark a beginning.   God has already started working in all those kids' lives to bring about a future of great things.  Those friendships will strengthen and grow and will continue to thrive.  We already know they will all gather again for two weddings in June (wonderful celebrations of beginnings), and they are planning to continue the tradition of Friends' Thanksgiving.  I'm sure they will plan many reunions. They may be going their separate ways soon, but they will continue to add new dimensions to their friendships because of their future experiences.  Because of God's promises, the circle is unbroken and our endings are beginnings.  What a wonderful assurance!

I love this quote because many times we DO get caught up in endings, but God is already creating a new beginning:

"And because it's all that we can see, the ending becomes an end in itself when directly ahead of us new beginnings are being forged and fresh byways are being laid out from the very ending we're caught up in." - Craig D. Lounsbrough