Standing at the Lincoln Memorial, its easy to see that the Washington Monument is tall. But as you walk closer and closer to the giant white obelisk, you really begin to sense how big it is. The closer you get, the more you feel its size. Imagine standing at the Lincoln Memorial one second, thinking about the height of the white column, and then blinking an eye and standing beside it. BAM! TALL! BIG! You'd need a few moments to adjust.
I think that's what's been going on these past few days - a sort of shock. When I got the call from Father Mark, it was like a blink-of-the-eye change in position from looking at "the Seminary" from the Lincoln Memorial to - BAM - beside it. I felt the size of this next step, and was left a little off balance by it. But this weekend sometime I realized - um... I'm not standing beside it yet. August is 8 months away. I've really only begun a leisurly stroll along the mall toward it.
So, in lots of ways, I feel like I've regained my balance a bit. (Thank you God!) "The Seminary" feels a lot bigger to me today than it did 9 months or 9 days ago. But its not looming menacingly over me by any means. As I try to enjoy this stroll forward toward August, I'm sure it will gradually begin to seem more immense than it is today. Just like approaching the Washington Monument along the mall. But there's much to enjoy (and learn) on a nice spring stroll. That's the lesson for me today. Enjoy the stroll. Appreciate where its headed. And let the size of it all work itself out.
As an aside, I think one of the gifts God has given me in the last day or so that has helped restore some balance is finding others who've walked this path too. Being able to see how it was - and is - for them. I found one blog in particular from a first year seminary student, Jason, who arrived at the seminary along a path that seems similar to mine. If you'd like to check out his blog, you can find it here: http://jsignal.com/b2/.