Last night I finished my last exam for my MBA. That marks the end of six years that I have spent on my education at the University of Arkansas. After the exam, I had the opportunity to simply walk around campus enjoying the last vestiges of the crisp spring air. Even though, it was getting late and the sun was nowhere to be seen, there was still the dim light hanging in the sky giving the trees a dark luster as they swayed in the breeze.
As it was late in finals week, campus was fairly empty and quiet which allowed for some great, nostalgic thinking. I thought of all the great times that I had with friends. I thought about the cafeteria food and the late night meals. I thought of all the studying and homework and reading. I thought of my victories and my vices, my strengths and my struggles.
There was so much that happened in those six years. I spent countless evenings studying engineering, got involved in a few campus ministries, and was even able to work a sweet job on campus. I met some of the greatest people I know (including my wife!). I challenged myself academically, socially, spiritually, and yes, I even worked out a few times.
Campus was a solid constant in my life for six years (which turns out to be a fourth of my life at this point). There is such an attachment that I can truly say it was my home away from home…which is a strange thought. It is a strange thought because even though I can call the U of A my “home,” my entire time spent here was only to prepare me for something on the other side. There are truly great things that happen in college and college has some great things to offer, but the truth is that it is simply a temporary and passing thing.
The whole purpose of college is to prepare oneself for the future, a springboard for your career and a stepping stone on the path of life. It is but one instant in a life full of instants. In our short-sightedness, though, we are all too quick to be satisfied with where we are. Short-sightedness because we cannot forget that no matter what we may call home here, we will never be truly home until we see our heavenly Father’s face. We must remember that we are simply pilgrims in this life and our citizenship is a heavenly, not an earthly, one.
In this life, we will face trouble, but we will also receive graces upon graces. And when it comes to finally saying goodbye to this life, just like it is when leaving college behind, it will be a fond farewell, a fond farewell followed by a glorious hello.