Grace and Peace to you.
What can be seen is temporary,
but what cannot be seen is eternal
—2 Corinthians 4.18
We’re off to Minnesota for our youngest son’s college graduation. Graduates tend to experience mixed feelings: pride, relief, a sense of achievement—and grief, or at least the anticipation of it, at the end of relationships, experiences and a way of life. That’s how it always is. We outgrow things. We move on. Even good changes are difficult, and sometimes even sad. But we move on. “When I became an adult, I gave up childish things….”
It’s no easier to mature in our spiritual lives. At times we outgrow things that we’ve become familiar with and depended on, for decades or maybe even our whole lives: beliefs, feelings or experiences, ways of worshiping or praying. When things shift like that, especially when the familiar no longer comforts us, it can feel like things are falling apart, or that God has abandoned or mistreated us. But it might be that God is simply letting us grow up. We have come to what is officially called a “Commencement.” A beginning. It can feel like an end, but it’s also a beginning.
When that happens, it sometimes feels like it’s not just you, but the whole world that’s changing. That’s actually true. St. Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, there is a whole new Creation” (2 Cor. 5.17). It might be disappointing for graduates these days to “commence” in a world that has no apparent place for them; without jobs, they go home and live with their parents. Sometimes in our spiritual lives we feel like what we do in our souls is of no great importance in the world. But remember that when you let God change you, you change the world. No one might see the contribution you make, but Creation is made new.
Whatever Commencement you (or your kids) are experiencing, congratulations! Now get used to the change. What can be seen—the outward forms of the life you live—is temporary. It will keep on changing. It’s what is invisible that is essential and eternal. Your soul will outlast all the beginnings and endings you experience. Get used to letting go, letting God change you, letting the world evolve. Don’t worry. What matters most will not be lost, even if you can’t see it. After all, the greatest treasure of all no one can see but God.
I’m taking a vacation from Unfolding Light, so I’ll be off through next week. See you on the 18th.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes