Aside

endurance

“I said a prayer for your family this morning after seeing you. I’m praying for endurance and patience (and some fun),” wrote a friend today, a friend with whom we recently shared discussion about difficult current events.

“Life is full and rich and hard and beautiful.  Grace and peace to you,” I replied.

My well-wish for grace and peace to my friend is not a flippant e-mail sign-off, but a prayer meditated through my fingertips as tears rise up in my eyes.

I’m enjoying some quiet time.  Kiddos fell asleep in the car on the way home after a full day with a dear baby-sitter.  I left them in their seats with the door cracked open, poured myself a glass of wine and took a seat at the picnic table.  I have been waiting for this moment for weeks.  I might let the kids doze in the car so they will transfer seamlessly, sleepfully into their beds.  I might just want a chance to take a deep, quiet breath after days of back-to-back commitments, the first moment in weeks I don’t have an obligation nagging my conscience for attention.

In my work, my colleagues and I talk with our students about being present–with their neighbors, their housemates, their families.   I wish I were more present (or mindful, you could say).  This week I have been convicted that God has called me to a place and a people, and I have forgotten them.

I think there are whole novels and movies made on the theme of confusing the path to the destination with the destination itself. Grad school can feel like the destination, the thing I’m working for.  But it’s not!  Grad school is a nook on the path, a place I am way-laid for a time, but it is not a place to set up camp.

Thank you, Jesus, for a friend who knows to pray for our endurance and patience. And let us run with perseverance. (Hebrews 12:1….)

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