When I graduated from high school and moved away from my home and the friends I had grown up with, it was with sorrow. When I came back to visit and hung out with those friends, each time we parted I left feeling that old nostalgia again, thinking back on the memories we had shared together.
When I finished college and it grew time for me to leave the campus ministry that I had called home for four years, and the people I had grown to love went separate ways and our lives became busy and we no longer made memories together, I again encountered that familiar sadness.
Even thinking back on the classes I had so dreaded, I reminisced with a slight longing on the teachers who had really given me something, on those rare moments when educator and student faded for only a breath to reveal simply a room full of people all caught up in this world together, living out beautiful life. Memories and memories.
And now I have fallen into another group of people, and I will grow to love them much as I have so many others, and we will make new memories together and the years will pass even more quickly. And one day in some unknown future, a time will come when I will leave them as well, and they will leave me; even now I can almost taste the sadness that day holds. I will end up someplace new, part of a different group of people, and I will think back on the many I have known before with a sort of sadness and yearning and missing, and I will wonder how long it will take to grow to love this lot as I have loved the others.
Over and over lifeâ€™s cycles will take me through this bittersweet carousel. Over and over people will come crashing into my life and then dance away into mist, pieces of myself trailing along after them. But that is the way God has shaped this life. It is why He created us, it is why He died for us. For the grand joy of life does not come in packages. It cannot be found in the furthest dark corners of the sky, nor the bottomless blues of the world. It cannot be bought and it cannot be earned; it cannot be touched or smelt and it has no texture to feel nor any color to see. The deepest joys the Creator placed in this world He put in nothing that could be captured or bottled or sold. He put it in a smile, in a laugh, in a tear. He put it in dancing and running, in cartwheels and kisses. He put it in people, and that is something worth considering.