As human beings we have a longing for the eternal, a longing to make the best things in life and the most meaningful moments to last forever. I believe that this comes from how we’re made by God to long for heaven; we’re meant to savor moments of bliss in friendships, laughter, and the things that are so beautiful we want to cry, because they are hints to the heaven we long for.
This week has been rough, as I have been deeply longing for things to be eternal that are changing rapidly as I leave for Ecuador. I have spent the past month and a half spending almost every moment with my family, and other than an expected bump here or there it has been nothing short of wonderful. I feel that over the past year I have gotten to know each one of my family members on a deeper level, and my time with them since graduation has only enhanced that. While I am so thrilled to be leaving for Ecuador, it is admittedly hard to fathom not seeing them again until Christmas.
I realized a few days before leaving Rochester just how deeply I longed for those moments to stretch on eternally, even though I know its time for them to come to a pause. One special moment came on July 5th when the golf course next to our house had their annual fireworks display: my dad and I ran outside when we heard them start, and sat down in the middle of the road to get the best view of the fireworks over the trees [suburban upstate life, where sitting in the middle of the road is not a deathwish]. As we watched the colors and lights explode I thought about how futile fireworks are, in a sense. So much chemistry and effort and time goes into something that explodes before our eyes in just a moment! Yet, the preciousness of sitting with my Dad and watching the beauty unfold before us was not lost on me. When we experience beauty– visual and sensoral beauty, emotional beauty, spiritual beauty– it lives on in that it radically impacts us, changes us, even. My heart was moved in love for him, in thanks for our relationship, in gratefulness for spending time with him before I leave for Ecuador, and in awe of the beauty that was painted across the sky in front of me.
There is something within me that wishes the good times that I spent with my family this summer could continue to stretch on and on. Even as I spend time at orientation in Miami, and depart for Ecuador on Saturday, I can sense an eternalness in the time we spent together. I leave knowing that my time in Rochester wasn’t just a stopover before Ecuador but something that I can really cherish and hold on to even as I transition into a new culture.