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Now that I’ve had a bit over a week to soak in my new reality, it’s time to reflect.  I graduated on May 19th from Seminary.  I spent five years of my life focused on seminary.  It’s determined so much of my comings and goings.  It’s afforded me and my family some amazing and life changing experiences.  Because of seminary, we got to live in Finland for a year.  And now seminary is over.

Ordination is next for me – this coming Friday.  Right now I’m in this in between stage – graduated, but not ordained.  It’s a waiting time.  It’s a time of relaxation and rest, but also anticipation of what comes next.  In a way it feels much the same as when we had our first child while still in the hospital.  We had the baby, but there we were, still in the hospital.  The really scary part was when they let us walk out the door of the hospital. At that point, bam, it was just us.  But while in the hospital, we were in this weird waiting time.  Parents, but not quite on our own yet.

Graduation means the completion of a goal, the commitment to the next stage of life.  Graduation means it’s time to start paying back the student loans too.  Graduation means a great deal.  Graduation from seminary feels different from graduation from college – that’s not a statement of good or bad, rather a statement of fact.  And maybe it should.  It’s been 19 years since I graduated college.  The world was at my fingertips then. So many possibilities and ways life could go.  I was living the dream of living and working on Capitol Hill in DC.  Now, the openness doesn’t exist – at least not in the same way. And that’s ok.  I don’t need it to.  I see where the next steps are and I am content.  I have joy in knowing what lies ahead.  I am ready.  And I can’t wait to start.

Lastly, I can’t help but say that graduation means one more thing.  Being a part of the last graduating class of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg means that I am tied to the many men and women who have gone before me from this fine institution.  The 191 year history of LTSG ties us together.  Yet, much like all these other graduates, we don’t have time to dwell on the past.  There is much to do.

Graduation means it’s time to get to work.  It’s what I’ve been waiting for five years.  Actually, God has been preparing me for this all my life.  Just like God has been preparing you for just this moment.  Let’s go.