Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Running on Empty

The past week and month an incredibly empty feeling has overcome me. Such was the case when I packed, cleaned, and finished up work for the semester within the 24 hours preceding my College Station departure on Thursday of last week. Then came a weekend of sheer nothingness, of freedom, and of peace and quiet on a hilltop. Yes, there were distractions. Yes, there were setbacks and misgivings. But looking back at what I had accomplished for the school year and what was to come for the summer, I felt satisfied and pleased.

Things do work out. There isn't a doubt about that. I've seen my earlier years open up to a blossom that brought me to A&M...now I look onward to where this next six-year blossom will take me. I remember my first trip to A&M distinctly. So much do I cherish; so much am I thankful for. Yet, during it all, I long for more. I don't know if it is selfish of me, but I do try to temper my desires. Egos have a tendency to inflate themselves on their own without much prodding by ourselves, but at the same time perceived injuries take so long to heal on their own.

My heart travels back across this semester and what I have been graced to experience: those people I have been graced to meet and have blossoming friendships with. My heart is full of joy for these things. So too does it swell when thinking on the progress made to the ends I have searched for during my years at A&M. The end is near, but at times I find myself telling myself things have gone by too quickly.

It is a contradiction, where we often find the greatest joys when we are in the twilight of stages in life. Only when we reach the end do we see the joy that took so long to uncover, much like the sculptor who finally whittles away the last bit of wood or stone to reach the masterpiece sculpture beneath.

The worries of the future ahead are of little concern to me right now. For the time being it is the joys of the present that I must tend to before creating new ones elsewhere. These are the things concerning me right now.

Here is what I ask you to do, my dear reader, in the coming days as an experiment. With each person you meet—on the street, in the supermarket, in the bank, eating out somewhere, at work, in your place of worship—greet them with a smile, consciously treat them with respect, and thank God for their presence in making your day just the least bit better. And if they aren't helping your day and instead ruining it, then ask God for patience to deal with them and pray for their inability to see or accept their bitterness. Then once your day is done, count the good things of the day. No matter your troubles, when seeing the good for what it truly is then the bad is nothing more than a passing headache...even if you're temporarily running on empty.

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