Two weeks until the school year comes to an end. And two months until things start back up again.
Last week I recorded what I hope will be my last chapel talk ever. Or at least for a long time. Five years overseeing things is more than enough. It was a simple talk, one that touched on Paul’s encouragement to the church in Philippi about pressing on (which also ties back to our school-year theme). My last class was last Tuesday. The rest of last week was spent on final exams and helping out with senior events like senior chapel. I’ve got a few assignments still out because of AP testing and Covid absences, but all of that is due Tuesday.
So I’ve got two weeks to end well. That means a number of meetings, including meetings for how things start back up in July. We’ve finally hired a new Christian Ministries coordinator for our campus, so I’ll also be trying my best to set him up for some success. That means doing what I can to help baccalaureate go well next Sunday. And that means planning ahead as best as I can. Because I’ve committed to “walking away” on June 4th and getting as much healthy distance as I can. Because work has become ubiquitous. There is a sense, of course, where this is understandable. Especially if you love what you do. But these last few years have definitely made things more difficult to manage without always being in the loop. I hope to step outside the loop for one full month. So two weeks to end well and set things up well.
And I’ve got two months to put better things in place for next school year (and in life in general). I’ve learned a lot over the last five years, some of which I don’t know what to do with. So I imagine I’ll be doing a lot of reflecting, lots of thinking things through. I’ve said before that Covidtide, for me, has been more of a tunnel than a cave: I don’t expect to walk back out the way I walked in. I am more and more convinced that the other side, even if it looks the same, will not be the same. I definitely don’t want to enter the fall semester the same person who is leaving the spring semester in a few days. I know that’s a tall order for two months, but that’s what I’m hoping for. Because a good bit of the “illusions” of the last few years, of the way things are or have to be, have been dispelled. And what’s left is a lot of hard work. But I want to make sure that I’m doing the right hard work, if that makes any sense.
Over the next two months, I’m trying to keep commitments low. I’ve still got some pastor search committee responsibilities to manage. And I’ll still help with worship (though this morning I was asked to fill in some). And I was asked to lead a 6 or 7-week Wednesday night seminar. I pushed back with a different suggestion that looks to be happening, and I’m okay with that. It’s not that I want to do nothing this summer. Not at all. It’s that I want to do the right things. Beyond that, there’s a two-week window of travel to enjoy: a retreat in Texas and then time with family in Tennessee. Thankfully, the retreat is lines up wonderfully with where I’m at in thinking things through.
I guess I’m hoping that the next two weeks will serve as a kind of exit ramp while also acting like training wheels for me. Free time during summer is something I need to plan for well. Thankfully more things are open this summer, so I’ve got some wiggle room for daytime destinations. There’s not much new TV, which is a good thing. And movies will be consistent but not too demanding. Hopefully the weather will stay pleasant and I can establish some healthy routines.
Two weeks and two months. A nice little overlap. A good window of time. I may be tired, but I’m also hopeful.