Our family celebrated another commencement weekend as daughter Anne graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. Graduations are a natural time to reflect on last things and things that last.
Graduations, funerals, and other rituals, services, and ceremonies help us observe life’s significant “lasts.” Important, too, are the “lesser” lasts of life…those times when we or someone close to us moves (on, up, out), grows (up, apart), transitions, retires. Those times often mark a change in relationships: a child begins kindergarten; a parent must give up driving; a favorite friend moves away.
Noticing, appreciating, and celebrating the lasts of life—sometimes through tears of joy, sometimes through tears of pain—helps us better recognize God’s presence and God’s gifts in all of life. Maybe being present as we remember the past and anticipate the future is a way to “deposit” lasting treasure in our hearts.
Things that last
And Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal…. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19, 21).
Lord, forgive us, for we are dense. We are so focused on the new, next thing that we forget to be mindful; we forget to be thankful. We rarely connect the dots between the balance of our spending (time and money) and the balance of our lives. Our calendars and our credit-card statements do not reconcile with our faith and life priorities. Full of stuff and full of ourselves, we wonder why we still feel empty.
Thank God for grace. Each day brings a new opportunity to sing “O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 632). Each day brings new opportunities to faithfully treasure God’s gifts and blessings, to faithfully treasure the lasts, firsts, and middles of life.