A reflection and blessing for two of my kids who are moving to college this week (and for any others for whom this speaks).
Thirteen years ago, we walked this street with two kindergarteners wearing backpacks that seemed bigger than the backs they rode upon. On that morning in 2009, thinking about what would come in 2022 felt like an impossibly long time away. It felt like what a road trip would be like if we went the speed limit on this little residential street – 25mph.
The reality, however, is that accelerator creep came into the picture. What started at 25 mph on that tree lined boulevard changed to the speedometer showing 75 mph on a busy highway with the scenery flying past. I wonder today how the drive sped up so much and seemingly imperceptibly.
Even as the trip seemed to go faster and faster, I am indescribably grateful for the memories, the celebrations, the transitions, and honestly for every part of it (even the points that were frustrating or exhausting – three kids in diapers at the same time…I’m looking at you). I am also grateful that, while the journey is shifting, we are still on the trip together, that grace abounds, peace is offered, love is outpouring, and joy is plentiful.
As you begin this next stage, it may feel impossible for things to slow down even as you want to hold tightly to every moment. All the other travelers seem to be going as fast or faster. Even if you try to slow down you see others flying past and will feel the pressure to keep up. At points it is ok to do that – to keep the speed up to stay with everyone else. But don’t forget to intentionally get off the highway and travel onto the roads of life where it is impossible to go past 25mph. Find those places where life slows down, you can savor every moment, you can catch your breath, and you can slow down enough to look back and connect with where you have come from. May you also be one who draws others to these slower side streets where you can create the memories and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.
May your hearts continue to stay soft for those who have tried to keep up and found that they could not, for those who have felt that life has run them over or wounded them, and for those who don’t even have ways to even try. May you remember that Jesus calls us to create space for all along this journey and that you are to use the privileges you have been given in order to help others whose lives have not afforded that same privilege. Remember there is always room for others along with just as there is always room at Christ’s table.
May you remember that adventures are best when they are shared with others – be they those with whom you have journeyed before or new travelers who come alongside. Remember that you have the promises of the One who told the disciples that He would never leave them or forsake them and that he promised the Spirit – She who would be the ever-present comforter, protector, and teacher.
Yes, our friend Ferris Bueller did say that life moves pretty fast and these eighteen years feel like they passed in an instant. But Ferris also reminded us that if we don’t stop and look around once in a while we could miss it. So take Ferris’ advice (at least on this point) and enjoy the 25mph times when they come, create the 25mph times when needed, and bless others with spaces to allow them to slow down as well.
I am so proud of you and so grateful for this part of the journey, whatever the speed we were traveling, and I am so grateful for the journeys that you (and we) have ahead. I love you.