Two of our lovely Wesley girls going through some of my scrapbooks from college as they are sitting in my office right now. They are laughing at our fashion (which I don’t think was all that different) and our giant computers and the craziness of what they remember of Y2K.
Times have changed a lot. Hello facebook, twitter, blogs, and all of the other trends in fashion, entertainment, etc. But in many ways – things haven’t changed all that much. College students still have awesomely awesome days when they run in jumping up and down about new friends or finding the right major or studying abroad or joining a sorority or getting that internship or part-time job they’ve been working for or at Winthrop especially finding the right guy or girl. College students also have craptacular days as well. Especially with facebook statuses, you can see the low points and even in the midst of our still lack of air conditioner at this point, they’re still choosing to hang out here even on the bad days.
I loved my college experience here. There were good days and bad….and according to them some bad hair and fashion choices, but it was a time of discovery and growth and awakening like no other. This time in young adulthood is so critical in this important work of figuring out self and world and community and faith. There was a quote I saw the other day from Keating saying, “‘Discovery’ is usually about something that is outside us. ‘Awakening’ is about something that is inside us-that is already there.”
I like that. Isn’t that’s what our journey through life is. This process of awakening to all that is inside of us and discovering the possibilities that await us in the world. There is a world of possibilities both for us to discover and awaken to. Y’all know that famous and oft quoted saying by Harold Whitman, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Awaken to what is inside you – to the God given passions and gifts and graces inside of you and let the world catch that light!
My parents brought me a box of “memory stuff” as I had written on the box, from my grandparent’s house on Saturday and in looking through it I found some hilarious stuff – a time capsule that some of us made in college – talk about random, a mixed cd, a poem I wrote as an “Ode to Waffle House” in college. Talk about trip down memory lane. As I listened to the cd in the car yesterday, circa 1999 – it was back when napster was big and random songs abounded – I thought about this process of awakening and discovery and how it’s not just something for young adults or teenagers or college students.
This awakening and discovery is a lifelong process that is something we all can relate to. You’re never too old or too young to figure out what your life’s passion is or what this part of your life’s passion is. We’re never completely lost or boxed in or corralled past the point of being able to open ourselves anew to the possibilities before us. It’s not always easy work and it’s often dirty and hard-thinking work, but it’s worth it.
So yes these scrapbooks and these boxes of “junk” or “treasure” you make the pick – they’re funny and embarassing and they show someone trying to discover who she is from movie tickets to newspaper articles to pictures to that completely random time capsule. But I am thankful for the ride. For the good days and the bad days, for the awakenings and discoveries both challenging and freeing, for the friends and confidantes and family not just by blood but by life, that have traveled through.
My hope for myself, for my students, and for each of us is that we continue to awaken, we continue to discover, we continue to ask the Spirit of God to dwell within in and among us as we see both the absolutely ordinary and the completely radical with possibilities open for each of us.
To show you how random we were…some of the music….Hansen’s MmmmBop of course and Hello World by Belle Perez – very important when Felicity cut off her hair after breaking up with Ben.
You gotta love Des’ree’s You Gotta Be…