Friday, February 22, 2008

On Being a Sojourner

These thoughts are only half-formed, but I want to post them before they get lost and forgotten in the muddle of my life. This is my 100th post (yay for me) but let me tell you if I'd posted every time I had an idea for a post there would be way more than 100 already.

But I digress. (Hey, I'm allowed to, it's what the blog's called.)

I am a sojourner. I was one long before I got my Google account.

I chose that name for myself partly in honor of the passage in Ephesians that goes, "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow-citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." (I did have to look that up.)

Partly also I chose it because of what it means. I love words, I love playing with the meanings of words, I love finding that word that means exactly what you want it to mean. Sojourner is exactly what I want to call myself. According to good old Webster, "sojourn" can be used as a noun or a verb. As a noun it means a temporary stay, as a verb it means to stay temporarily.

I am a sojourner. I am not going to be here forever. That's been brought home a lot to me lately, most notably with the recent passing of Amanda Pudvah but also with little things, smaller things, Lenten things...God's way of reminding me that this world was not made to last forever.

Yet I am a sojourner and not a wanderer. Although I stay only temporarily, I stay. Right now I am here, and here is exactly where God wants me to be. That's another thing He's been trying to teach me this Lent--how to simply be here. I am one of those people who makes lists. I like to know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow, next week, next month. I write down the times of my final exams at the beginning of each semester.

Planning is good. There's nothing wrong with looking ahead--but there is something wrong, I think, with getting so caught up in where I'm going that I don't notice where I am. I believe that I was put here. If this was merely a step on the road to my "real life" I could have gone to any college in the world, but God called me here. This, right here and right now, is real life. There is something I am learning here that I could not have learned anywhere else. There are people here who are teaching me things I could not have learned from anyone else--and I'm not just talking about my professors.

It always comes back to people. God has been teaching me that for the last four years--I didn't start figuring it out until about a year and a half ago. In my high school graduation speech I said, "It's when you've figured out love that you've really learned something."

People are forever. One day when this stay of ours is done schoolwork and deadlines and alarm clocks and everything else that looms so large right now won't matter anymore. People will always matter. I dare to think that in Heaven my mother will still be my mother, my father will still be my father, my sister still my sister...I won't have my courseload or my GPA or the Dean's List but I will have the people who sat next to me in class whose lives I touched in ways I might not even know. I think we will know then; we will see how it was that God put exactly these people in our lives to help us become who He meant us to be.

1 comment:

Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

Well, "Scott" on the other hand means "the wanderer", and I certainly wander. I wish I would stay somewhere for a change, but then again that'd mean not being everywhere else as much... Worst is that I don't seem to be getting anywhere in some things that I know are very important. Well, at least on the bright side there are many things I carry with me wherever I go.

Interesting what you say about it coming back to people... Have you read my comments on friendship in my recent post (the one I posted last before the one I posted today), and if so could you drop your thoughts on said comments over there?