“So, are you home for a while now?” Pastor Chris asked, sitting in the chair to my left as we waited for the service to start. I nodded, the implications of the question playing through my mind. Pastor Chris is a Moody alumnus, so he knew that school was already in session, that since I was here and not there I must be missing out on the semester, and his face held a look of knowing sympathy. “It’s got to be pretty tough to watch everyone going ahead without you, huh?”
In that one sentence, Pastor Chris summed up the very thing that has been gnawing at me since the semester began a few weeks ago. It’s great to be home, but every time I read my friends’ posts about classes and dorm life I can feel my stomach drop. My roommate, Dan, called me while I was at Sam’s Club, wandering through the aisles piled high with industrial-sized packages of M&Ms and Twizzlers, and he told me that I had to come back in time for his last semester in the Spring. “I can’t graduate before I room with you again,” he said. Whenever I catch a glimpse of the yearbook on my shelf or hear a song and think “the Men’s Choir arrangement is so much better”, I feel more sharply the ache of being sidelined.
But as I thought about Pastor Chris’s words, I started to wonder if they were entirely true. Sometimes it feels like everyone is moving ahead while I sit in stasis and watch them pass by, but the truth is we’re all moving forward. Time never stops, it sweeps us all along together a moment at a time, and as long as I’m still alive I have no excuse not to live, not to take every moment and use it to its full potential. I may not be able to move further toward my degree or sing with the Men’s Choir or spend time with my amazing friends at Moody, but I can read and write and work and pray and save up to get back in action, I can better myself and encourage others, I can live on the sidelines just as much as I ever did at school, and when I do get back into the game I’ll hit the ground running, ready to take charge and make the most of those opportunities, too.
After all, life never stops, so why should I?