dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish



Summer's over. It ended a week ago, really. School's been back for a week and a day. But I'm just now getting around to recording some thoughts.

Many good things come to an end. Life keeps moving. It's quite a bit different than it was five years ago. I expect it will be vastly different in another five. I've never thought myself to be an overly sentimental person, but I've found myself, in several changing situations, having difficulty moving on.

The first brings me to a good story. Make that a few good stories. I had the privilege of serving again as a team leader along with Jodi P- at the youth camp our church shares with two other sister churches. One good story is that our team won. Quite handily, I might add. A 5-1 record, with buzzer-beating, tie-breaking shots winning three of the games for us. Pretty cool. But that's not the good story I meant to get to.

As we packed up the vans on the last morning and everyone milled about, waiting to jump in and head back to Akron, I stepped back inside. Everyone in my vehicle was standing outside. I was inside for 60 seconds. I took one last look around the now-empty building. I have no idea what kind of commitments I'll have next summer, and there will be plenty of other young men fresh out of high school who should be able to serve as team leaders at youth camp. "This is probably the last time I'll see this place," I thought. Yes, I was feeling sentimental. But that didn't last for more than a few seconds.

I stepped back outside. I didn't see anyone from my church standing around anymore. I didn't see the van I was (supposed to be) riding in parked in its place -- because it was already halfway down the long driveway. Have you ever run to catch your ride? I shuffled across the the stone-and-dirt parking lot as fast as I could. Shuffled, because I was in sandals. Fast -- not really. So I grabbed my sandals and ran in the grass alongside the driveway until I caught up to the van and knocked on the door. It seems everyone forgot to check the list of people who were supposed to ride home in the vehicle, and no one remembered that I would be riding with them. Well, almost no one. I did have one friend say, "I thought you were supposed to be riding with us." Thanks, man. At least you said you would've asked the driver before we totally left town. (If you're reading this, no hard feelings. I actually think it's really funny.)

So why do I share this story? Two reasons. First, as I said, I think it's funny. Second, it was a lot of fun. I've never been left behind and I've never run a hundred yards to catch up to my ride before. Third (wait, I said two reasons? make it three), it has stayed with me as an illustration. When leaving a place or people that have meant a lot, it's easy to stare out the back window the whole time -- literally and figuratively. There's nothing wrong with a few sentimental feelings. But the time comes to move on. And when that time comes, there's no use looking back. When I left youth camp, I didn't look back. I couldn't. The last view I had of the camp was from the front door of the retreat center. Then I was running as fast as my sandals (then bare feet) would carry me. I wasn't running away from the camp. I was running to the van, because that's where I was supposed to be. I wouldn't have it any other way.

That picture has already helped me since then. I worked full-time for thirteen months (since the beginning of last year) as an engineering co-op. I had my last day less than two weeks ago. I'd already said good-byes at work twice before to return to school. But I knew I would return for another work rotation. Not this time. Seeing a place and people almost every day, and then coming to the point where you realize that you may never see them again... it really makes one stop and think. I had time to evaluate, to give thanks, to say good-bye. When I walked out the door for the last time, I also had time to look back. I didn't. I didn't want to.

There's a small group of really good friends that I've served with in a church ministry team for the past few years (almost three years with some of them). We'd grown from four when I started to five and then seven. The team had grown before. For the first time, though, people were moving on. For different (good) reasons, four out of seven would not return. For all that I enjoyed our times together along the way, I wish I could have enjoyed them more. The change is a good thing. New young people have a chance to grow and to serve the church, an opportunity they wouldn't have had if some of us didn't have to move on. Memories of the past few years are treasured. But there's no going back. And so there's no looking back.

As a good friend (one of the four) moved to college out of state, I mentioned that more frequent posts on life in Ohio might be in order. This, in a way, is one. Study hard, brother.

Many good things come to an end. Don't look back.

The best things shall never come to an end. Press forward for what ultimately lies ahead.

(Thanks to JPB for the pictures.)

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Blogger Megan said...

"The best things shall never come to an end. Press forward for what ultimately lies ahead."
Good stuff.

9/01/2009 7:17 AM

Blogger The Stranger said...


Thanks Sonic! I will study hard, but that doesn't mean I can't miss sharpening swords with you. Till the day we meet again.

9/01/2009 1:10 PM

Blogger Laedelas Greenleaf said...

As I move away from home, this post was very encouraging. To be able to enjoy the past yet anticipate the future is a balance I'm learning to achieve.

9/01/2009 9:19 PM

Blogger Johann Van De Leeuw said...

Hey Jason!
Great profile picture - and great post! 'Twas really nice seeing you at J&M's wedding...hope to see you again soon!

9/03/2009 11:16 AM

Anonymous Justin Work said...

It esd fun having you as my team leader. You never lack insight. Although I'm not sure about this stuff you say about you only being a little sentimental after looking in the main room for one last time. You were all out crying and I have witnesses. JK.

11/17/2009 9:16 PM


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