Hope all is well as you finish up this last week of school. Can you believe it? You made it this far! Whoopee!!!! A few more miles and then. . . .
Tonight is our special worship time honoring our graduating senior, Kelly. Join at 6:30pm in our chapel. THURSDAY is our 80’s Dance Party/Prom. We will have free food and all kinds of surprises! So join us at 6:30 then too, and bring a friend! Let’s help Kelly celebrate in style! Well, at least 80’s style.
Remember, we have free lunch during finals week next week—Monday, Tuesday, Wedesday, and Thursday!
And men, remember we are having the famous MEN’S BBQ at my house next Thursday night at 6pm. Free food and fun!
Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:
I’ve always been somewhat of a dancer. Not that I’m any good (no you will not see me on “Dancing With the Stars” someday), I just like to move. I remember the story my mom tells of time we were visiting my Grandparents when I was about three. My Grandpa was a Nazarene preacher and invited me to sing “Jesus Loves Me” as a special in church. Let me just mention, Nazarenes, at the time, did not dance. And as I began to sing, I also began to wiggle with the tune. Armed with microphone in hand, I would dance right out of my Grandfather’s grasp every time he would try to reach for me.
In my bathroom is a picture a friend gave me in college. It says: “Those move easiest who have learned how to dance.” I love the truth in those simple words. Sometimes I don’t much feel like dancing, but there is something inside that has to dance anyway. Everything about life dances. The underlying rhythms of time seem to invite me to join in too, to remember that each moment passes in beat, each day is a measure, and life is too short to let the song pass without moving along with it.
Last week the Wesley Foundation brought the prayer labyrinth to Stresstivus on South Lawn. We were situated in the back between the rock climbing wall and the free food. Not too far away speakers were set up, filling the air with the funky beat of Hip Hop. While not very meditative or quiet, there was prayerful electricity permeating the steps of each person who walked the labyrinth. Maybe it’s because we walk in rhythm anyway, without even realizing it. Maybe it’s because God’s presence encompasses all of life, not just the quiet parts. (Thank God, it’s not very quiet at my house with two small children!) Regardless of how different the environment of our prayer walking was, it was still full of prayer for me, alive, electric, prayerful.
I remember sitting in my folding chair letting the sun pour over me as a group of students caught my eye. They were gathered in broad stretch of grass in the middle of all the assembled activities. Together they began to move in unison to the rhythm of the music filling South Lawn. At first their steps were unpredictable, not exactly together. And then . . . perfection. All of them began moving as one, jumping and dancing in the sunlight. Time seemed to be suspended as they leapt in the air; joy filled me up just watching. Something in me danced with them.
Too soon it was over. But since then, something within me dances still. I am reminded that each day I can choose to dance, literally and figuratively. Each day I can choose joy. Each day I can savor good things, even while being suspended in circumstances beyond my choices. There are certainly things in our lives we cannot choose: who we’re born to, whether we pay taxes, how other people respond to us, the amount of homework we receive. Yet we are blessed with the capacity to dance anyway, to find joy in everyday blessings, and to allow ordinary things to bless us. In pondering these truths, the words to a Lee Ann Womack song come to mind:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I cannot conclude this last e-letter of the semester without a word or two for the one I wrote it for. Kelly Ogles, this is so my prayer for you. You have been down such a long and winding road. We have walked many miles together, and each step has been a prayer. You, my dear friend, are so close to your destination. My heart for you as you begin a new leg of the journey, is that your walking will be dancing, that you will always hear God’s song in your heart, and that you will always choose to move with it, joining in, and celebrating the dance of life all of your days. For all the days you have shared with me, thank you for joining me for this dance in this time and this place. I am, and always will be, so proud of you.
This is me trusting,
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