i. It rains a lot here. When you’re in the driver’s seat it’s merely annoying; but when you’re in the back of the car, staring out the window, the drops become a landscape of anxiety and friendship and adventure. You silently cheer them on as they make their way down the glass, stalling, joining with others to travel faster toward whatever lies at the bottom of the window.
ii. The graduation gown is hanging ready on my closet door, and I have a stack of cards on my dresser with pictures of me. The ceremony won’t be the end of my school year, far from it; but it’s a symbol. A symbol of twelve years of study, work, frustration, and most of all – in a grand irony for my arrogant know-it-all heart – learning.
iii. We don’t really talk about the thirty years. Just the three. We talk about the teaching, the miracles, the death and resurrection. And those are important – infinitely so. But what about the other parts? The kind, gentle response to a brother’s harsh words. The back and forth, back and forth of the saw, cutting the wood so the table would be sturdy and straight. Those moments were for us, too.
iv. The drops collide and trickle down the window. But if you refocus your eyes like a camera lens, you’ll look through the glass. And you’ll see what the drops become – a puddle, a pond, a lake, an ocean.
v. Every moment is a choice. Speak, or stay silent? Lash out, or respond in gentle humility? Listen to the deceitful lusts, or flee? Life, you know, is made of choices, of moments. And each of them has a say in who you are and who you will become.
vi. Sine, cosine, tangent. Is that a degree or a radian, and who on earth invented pi? What did I choose? To grumble and complain, or to hold fast the word of life? “Can you come play ping-pong?” “No, not now.” What kind of a life do our choices make?
vii. Drops flow off the windows and onto the asphalt, through the storm drain and into the ocean. Our city’s a watershed, I’m told – all of the water ends up in the sea.
viii. “What can I get for you today? What kind of cheese would you like on your sandwich? Mayonnaise and mustard, salt and pepper?” Every moment’s an opportunity: to bring glory to the One who made us, the God who saved us and now sanctifies us. Swish, swish. Soapy water, sanitizer, put the dishes up to dry. We have this calling: to make every moment – not just the big achievements and final goals – a testament to His grace.
ix. All the history of this great universe, from “in the beginning” to the new-made earth, is made of moments. And maybe it’s those little choices that form the bigger stories. Little, terrible choices, that paved a path of awful destruction. Little wonderful choices, that couldn’t be except by a greater power. The choice to speak with kindness, this time. The choice to turn from grumbling or arrogant thoughts.
x. When they hand me that diploma it’s more than a piece of paper; more than my GPA, more than the number of college credits I got in high school (which isn’t very many). It’s a symbol of all the moments of these twelve years – moments, choices, that by God’s grace made me who I am.
xi. What will you choose? Will you live in this moment for the glory of God?