Today, Karla and I are taking Ben to his freshman orientation at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. According to MapQuest, the distance from my driveway to Olivet’s campus is 500 miles (492.78 miles to be exact—sometimes preachers like to round up). Our first born, Alex, has attended MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas the last three years. It is one mile from our driveway to his dorm room (1.1 mile to be exact—sometimes preachers round down too).
There is a big difference between 500 miles and one mile.
If Alex’s car breaks down between his dorm and our house, it would take him less than 15 minutes to walk home.
If Ben’s car breaks down between his dorm and our house during Thanksgiving break (A real possibility if you’ve seen Ben’s car and assuming Ben doesn’t get lost—a huge assumption if you know anything about my directionally-challenged cherub), he might make it home in time for Christmas dinner (or he might end up in Hoboken, New Jersey).
If Alex forgets something in his room—it’s a quick little trip to get it.
If Ben forgets something in his room (that is a stone cold certainty if you know anything about my sometimes memory-challenged cherub)—it’s a seven hour drive.
During the school year, I get to see Alex every Sunday in church. Then following the service on most Sundays, he comes home for dinner. He usually has found a reason to come home during the week too. We’ll see Ben just a little more frequently than Haley’s comet (or so his mother thinks).
All this to say, today as I am driving to Olivet to begin the process for his enrollment this fall, I am also aware of changes that will soon be coming to our family.
Last week, Alex asked his long time girlfriend, Blaire, to marry him. She said “yes,” and in a year wedding bells will be ringing.
It’s part of life.
Normal doesn’t stay “normal” forever—a new normal becomes normal.
Here’s what brings me peace in an ever-changing life: Our God does not change. Do you remember what the author of Hebrews wrote? “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) He is constant and true. Always loving. Always there. Always providing exactly what is needed for the moment. Just as God was with Karla and I as we anxiously anticipated Kindergarten Round-up with the boys years ago, He is now with us as we are moving into new territories of an empty nest, a daughter-in-law, and a cherub living 492.78 miles away (sometimes our stats are right on the money).
He is with you too! If your life has been full of changes—keep looking to the One who does not change. He will give you hope and confidence as you step out into the great big unknown future.