Tomorrow marks 5 months until I have my M.Div degree. Crazy. Seems like only yesterday I was brimming with excitement, ready to move all my belongings to Nashville to come to school again. Now, I stand on the threshold of obtaining my degree… but I still have some papers and a test to take before I move into my last semester.
Which has gotten me thinking about the future. Now, I know how awful life can be when you’re constantly thinking about the future and begin to forget about the present: often you end up living in regret at not having done more with your time or feeling sorry for yourself at not living that future now. Still, I’ve been pondering what I will do with myself when I graduate.
I don’t have any immediate professional plans after my degree. I think I’ve become so overwhelmed with all the work work work of this degree that I’ve lost hope that I can be professionally successful. That is why I need an intentional sabbatical.
What will this sabbatical consist of? I’m thinking that there will be lots of painting, lots of cooking, lots of reading, and lots of building a home. I’m starting to compile my reading list for this sabbatical time period, and it includes a lot of Henri Nouwen, some Patristic Fathers, some art history, and some poetry. I am looking forward to a fertile time of creativity, hospitality, and rejoicing in routine. Let’s see how it goes!
Until then, friends, we need to keep hope. We keep hope by living in the present. Yes, it’s good to think of what I want to do after my degree, and it’s good to plan ahead for other things. But it’s also devastating if that’s all we do. So live in this moment, right now. Appreciate all that is good about right now, realizing that it doesn’t have to be perfect in order to be good. And keep hopeful that yes, things will continue to be good—if we are only brave enough to look for it.