Seriously. It’s a drizzly day in Southern California (“June gloom” as some know it) and I feel just enough out of place to be reminiscing (let’s be honest, reminiscing is easier than sorting out the next steps). I ‘ve been trying to remember this one song…and it turns out to be my last post from Oxford.
I do n’t mean to go far down that trail today, but I ‘d rather not lose touch with that because I was quite uncertain at that time as well. The words of that song still ring in my ears which I found somewhat comforting those last days, “[W]aiting for tonight, then waiting for tomorrow…I’m somewhere in between…what is real? just a dream” in Lifehouse’ ‘Somewhere In Between’.
I guess what I take away from that is just a chance to ponder the mindset employed in getting from point A to point B with big goals. I feel like I ‘m still on a very long hike (graduation ceremony was on Saturday) and although I think I know the general direction, the plot is n’t what happens when I get there so much as what happens now in this “in between”.
I really do think that the in between is what defines us largely. Sure, my family and friends are proud of my accomplishments and I ‘m proud of theirs. It ‘s just that these moments are chances to celebrate what are ultimately little victories. I think only people who do n’t know me will think of me as “Dr” or “Professor” or “Mr” Lookingbill. What my students (if we ever get there) will remember is how I showed care for them and whether that helped them or not. The title is important – it brings with it an expectation of respect but from there my actions honor or desecrate everything else I did. My family and friends will remember who I was in the lean times and whether I could laugh with them in the good whether they introduce me as an academic or not.
I suppose I boil it down to: finishing is important, but graduating is at best a signal of the type of work I ‘m willing to put in in the present (that ‘s my theory on marriage as well but I have no experience with which to support it). Put it this way: Fuller Seminary has a good reputation because its graduates in the present and past have been recognized for accomplishments unrelated to graduating Fuller. The question therefore is not just whether I get a job (though I hope to) but who I am/what I do.
So for you who find yourself in the “in between” my prayer is that the actions you are meditating on will be applied to good ends. Whatever you ‘re pursuing, do n’t lose sight of learning to be that person regardless of your title.