Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Seduction of "Pomp and Circumstance"

The season of graduation has come to an end, finally.  For a few weeks each year life seems like nothing but transition.  From preschool to college everybody is moving on to the next thing.  As a pastor I get a ringside seat on what that looks like in people's families, including my own.  Emotions churn close to the surface.

I used to live my life on "academic time" and it was a great comfort.  Each year led to something new at predictable intervals, punctuated by a few coveted symbols of achievement - tassels moved, diplomas received, honors awarded.  But at some point most of us run out of academic time.  The transitions are less predictable, and the symbols of achievement less certain.  "Pomp and Circumstance", instead of being background music for other people's success, sometimes kicks up different emotions.  How many more new beginnings are there for me?  Am I missing something?  Should I be doing something about it?  "Pomp and Circumstance" can be a seductive little tune.

I don't have a pat answer to the question.  Feeling a little urgency about what you are doing with your life is not a bad thing.  It may well be the nudge of God to take another step on the road to where you are called.  But it can also be that age old temptation to believe that the answers can only be found where I am not.  "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love."  There is this deep need to take matters into our own hands, to move on, at least one more time.

At the very least we should question our urgency. Am I hearing the song of seduction, or the whisper of God?  It can be hard to tell.

1 comment:

Mark Grubbs said...

Nice way of putting it Mike. Like your blog. In Korea, everyone stays on academic time as long as they can. It's quite a social phenomenon.

Grace and peace to you.