It Starts

So this is Day One of my Daily Post-A-Thon (or would it be day 2 . . . I actually posted yesterday and mused about trying to post every day . . . and since I’m posting today that means I’ve posted two days in a row . . . but technically yesterday I was only *thinking* about posting every day . . . and today I’ve started . . . hmmm . . . we’ll call it Day Two – that means I’ve done it twice!)
But I digress . . .
I’m thinking about the Mass we had earlier this morning. It’s our 8th grade student’s last all-school Mass. We sit our youngest students closer to the front (1st and 2nd grade), with 7th & 8th students in the balcony at the back of the Church. Since today was the last Mass for 8th grade they were moved to the very front of the Church. Right before Mass was finished all of our 8th grade students were invited to come up around the altar for a special blessing from Fr. Ray. He prayed for them and blessed them with holy water, then they sat down again. Once the closing blessing was given the 8th grade students processed out before anyone else. It was a very symbolic way of letting all of us gathered know that they were ready to move on to High School next year. It was also symbolic in that there was now an open space for the next grades to fill.
It was also a moving gesture for me personally:
  1. Since I work closely with Jr. High students (I teach 7th grade religion and 7th & 8th grade study hall, and I work with a team of Middle school students to do ministry around the school), every year is another exercise in letting go. Some years its harder, some easier, but this year some of the 8th grade boys were, well . . . 8th grade boys 🙂 – which, of course, made me love them even more. I’m going to miss seeing them in the hallways and in class.
  2. My son is in 4th grade this year – in a few years I’ll be watching him and his friends graduate from school and moving on – it really hit home this morning that I don’t have too much time left in this phase of his life – this pre-adolescent, energetic, still-wanting-to-spend-lots-of-time-with-his-dad phase. It forced me to re-evaluate – once again – my time and leisure commitments. This also spurred me to think about my other relationships (God, wife, mother, siblings, in-laws, friends) and how best to cherish and celebrate them in the midst of our changing lives.

So it was an awakening moment for me. I pray that I’ll stay true to the kind of person I want to be (spending time with people important to me) instead of slipping into the kind of person I can all too often be (putting stuff and my comfort ahead of my relationships). May you be true to your best self as well.

Blessings & Peace,