It’s mid-term again – more than half way through the fall semester at the University of Cincinnati. Really. With a change from quarters to semesters I had a false sense that we had an endless amount of time. But now the mid-term is upon us and it’s time to reflect on what I have finished, and what is before me.
This semester I have had more contact with individual students. Whether it’s at some of the planned activities or in one-on-one conversations, there is a longer list of connections than in past years. Yet, as I look at this list I am also anxious about how to strengthen these relationships – especially mentoring/discipling relationships that help individuals draw closer to Christ. My MO is often just let come what may and then respond. But there is also something to be said about planning to meet and study scripture with students. By this time I had wanted to have 4 small groups going. Well one is. But I haven’t done much with the others. Perhaps a 4 week study to get things going for 2 groups?
I have also put off setting up the registered student organization – and the deadline is November 15. Okay, so this week we’ll get the frame build and then ask students to fill it in the next week. Nothing like a deadline. As part of this task I also want to invite students to lead, even in small ways. To take on ownership of small parts of the groups.
And then there are the larger events ahead – pumpkin carving, an international meal, giving a paper at the SAMLA, attending new staff training, and then all the Christmas stuff. It’s piling up. A month ago I thought I had all the time in the world to finish everything. Now everything is upon me and time – well it’s quite limited.
It’s difficult to write out of a place of giving and grace when I feel so tied up and always behind. I want to talk of others, make connections with community, go on pilgrimage, and stop this uber-individualism, but I don’t feel I can. There’s so much I need to do and for which I am responsible to other people.
Often I don’t get to the new things because the backlog of the old keeps weighing on me. I have to finish the previous work before getting to the new. At least that’s what my adult self seems to be saying. After I finish the work, then I can play. It seems like I will never get to the new, even if that new is just planning for next semester.
Then I see a sunrise as I drive in to work. A brilliant red blaze. This is a new morning. I can grasp Christ, even if my world doesn’t seem to be falling into place. Perhaps after seeing, really seeing, enough sunrises, I will turn around and get on with the new and leave behind some of the heavy tasks. I also know that finals are ahead when all this hurrying will be over for a semester. There will be time to breathe more freely. Maybe even to see the life that existed in the midst of mid-terms.