Nine days ‘til graduation. I can't hardly believe it! I have this thought in me that says, "Now what?" when I know that off we go. So today I have been remembering, and I wanted to share some of that with you. I am amazed at how your nose and your rememberer are connected. Have you ever thought about that? I can smell a certain smell and go back in time in a flash, right to that place. The smell of a musty horn case takes me back to the junior high band room. It blows my mind sometimes, because it feels like it you are there. There is a feel to the air that can do the same thing. When I feel the thickness of a humid July day, it reminds me of southern Arkansas. The air doesn't move; it clings. You hear the cicadas sawing at a tree and smell the paper mills at work. I remember visiting Grannie and Grandaddy in DeVails Bluff. Holy moly, it was hot, and the smells were so big. And you never stopped sweating, ever! I can see Grannie with a small glass Coke bottle in her hand as she wiped her neck with a paper towel. There were these two huge stag heads hanging on their wall with a window unit going ninety to nothing. The smell of honeysuckle would waft by and you would think, "Is it ever going to cool down?"
Yesterday, I got to go pray for a lady that my friend Pat had been working with. Of all the things I have done while being here at Asbury, praying with Pat I will miss the most. I remember the first time I saw her. It was in Reg Johnson's Spiritual Formation class in the fall of ‘07. Since then, we have had a class together every semester except one, I think. We have been on retreats together, gone to the Abbey, to Ashland, Ohio, to be trained in Formational Prayer two times and spent countless hours on the phone. But the icing on the cake has been leading people into the presence of Jesus with her, and that's what we did yesterday. It never ceases to amaze me how Jesus works when we are willing to go to Him. Finding someone you can partner with the way Pat and I play off of each other is a hard thing to find, and I will miss our time at the feet of Jesus.
The Old Testament is full of stories and stone altars and incense, all of which call us to remember. When Jesus had His last meal with His disciples, He told them to remember Him every time they repeated the experience. But we have short memories, and while sometimes, certain seasons or smells or air thicknesses can prompt us to remember, we need to be intentional about remembering.
So I will hold these times close to my heart, these people of this place called Asbury. I will be intentional about remembering, and while there will be tears for a while, there will also be a smile and a laugh and a sigh. I would never have meet these people had it not been for this place, this place called Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.