Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In-Between Times--Wesley Foundation E-letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Dear Friends,


Hope you are all doing well.  It is that crazy time of year again as we get closer to finals.  Just think, in three weeks we will have crossed the finish line.  Yay!!!!  This has been a wonderful journey together.  I think you all are the best travel companions!


Hey, tomorrow is Stresstivus on South Lawn from 11am till 4pm.  We will be set up as a part of it with the prayer labyrinth.  Come and hang out; it will be so fun, and it will relieve stress!!!


Here’s stuff coming up.  Tonight is worship 6:30.  Come for a time of reflecting on the ways God has come to life for us this school year.  Thursday is free food, again at 6:30pm.  The elders are coming to share their wisdom!  It will be so cool to be with them.  Also, we will begin a time of OFFICER ELECTIONS.  Come and find out what that is all about!


Important end of the year stuff:


LADIES TEA PARTY—this Sunday at my house at 6pm.  I will give directions on Thursday night.  Email me and let me know if you plan on being there.  This is one of my most favorite things we do.  Please come and be a part of it!


MEN’S BBQ—This will be on Thursday, May 14th, again at my house.  I promise to provide just as much chocolate fondue as at the tea party.  Lots of fun, I promise.  Again, let me know if you plan on being there!


FINALS LUNCHES—We will provide free lunch on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of finals week.  Bring a friend and fill your tummy! 


JOE’S CRAB SHACK ROAD TRIP—Friday of Finals week we will car pool to Nashville.  Oh Yeah!


SENIOR STUFF—Next Tuesday & Thursday—Come and help us celebrate Kelly’s journey!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


Time is such an interesting concept this time of year, especially as the end of the semester draws nearer.  There is a sense of burden and sometimes panic that seems to hang in the air as students juggle their obligations with approaching deadlines, due dates, and finals.  It is a crazy time, and most of us begin to feel crazy as the demands of our lives levy a pull upon our energy, thoughts, and emotions.  We come away feeling drained and depleted, needing to be filled back up.


There is also a sense of impatience.  I keenly remember it even from grade school as an intense longing for summer vacation (a time of rest and play) that increases with each moment.  It is that all-together different time where one can breathe easy and restore balance to living.  Never was this longing so intense as those moments that also brought great transition to life, a moving on or a moving up.  I am remembering graduations, marriage, ordinations, etc.  Momentous times when far-off goals are suddenly near, but never near enough.  As I write this I think fondly of Kelly, our graduating senior.


At some point in our lives, each one of us will be stuck in an in-between-ness, where we long to move forward at a rapid pace, but must continue on in a daily-ness that can seem almost painful because it is so slow, so routine.  Movement seems to have disappeared completely and we find ourselves wondering if time will ever move again.  We know that life is meant for more, but we just can’t get to that precious “more” yet.  We feel figuratively and literally stuck.


I am reminded of the scripture quoted so often at momentous times:  Jeremiah 29:11.  In it the Lord says, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”  It’s one of those famous Bible verses; you can walk into any Christian bookstore and find all kinds of merchandise printed with those words.  But rarely does anyone mention the verses that come before it.  In Jeremiah 29:10 we find God saying, “Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.”  And here is the paradox that God’s people and many of us live in:  Life exacts patience from us the very moment we discover that life as we know it is not what we are meant for.  There is purpose to delay.  I’m still trying to figure out what that is, but I know it to be true.  And I know that we have the opportunity to discover God’s greatest mercies, in fact God’s greatest miracles, in the waiting.


Go back with me a few more verses.  God is speaking to His people about their exile in Babylon.  Yes, they are ultimately destined for the Promised Land, but in the meantime, God intends for them to sojourn in a foreign land.  Hear the tender words of grace:  “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce.  Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.  But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:5-7).  It is from the sojourn in Babylon that God’s people produce their greatest heroes, and our most important examples of faith.  Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?  How about Daniel and the lion’s den?  What about Esther?  These powerful stories of God’s power and deliverance were born in a time and place when God’s people wanted to be somewhere else.  It makes me wonder what God can do with our in-between times as well?  What would we be missing out on if we just hurried on to the next thing and never lived well these in-between days that we live in?  The real truth of the matter is that these moments offer us a kind of grace that no other moments can, and when they are gone, they are gone forever, as well as the opportunities and gifts they bring.


I offer these thoughts as a way of affirming that our in-between moments are fleeting.  We think we want the semester over and done with, this chapter closed for the rest of our lives.  But there are gifts in these days that we can enjoy only while they last.  And I hate to miss out on a party, no matter where God is hosting it.  So join me in taking a few moments every day to enjoy the gift that “today” is.  It may not be where we ultimately want to be, but even in these moments of in-between, God is longing to bless us.  Let us look for the blessing hidden in our longing.


This is me trusting,




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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry




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