Having just completed my first year directing Praxis at Columbia Bible College, I was privileged to spend the year with students sharing life and learning, service and experience, exploring what it means to follow Jesus in the very midst of our culture. It was deeply rewarding.
And now it's over. Ended.
A year at bible college can be a strange thing. For some it's the best year of their life. For others it's where they meet their spouse. To some, it's just one year of their life, signigifcant, but with no lasting impact. Classes are taken, friendships made, prayers prayed, songs sung, food eaten, and then it's over as fast as it began.
As we processed Praxis ending as a group, we discussed some of these dynamics and how the end of the program would invariably impact each person differently. For all of us, this ending is difficult in some way. But it's also unavoidable, important even.
Through these discussions I came to realize that while difficult, ending is not bad. Essential to good endings is a good understanding of sending. If we see our lives more as a congruent set of experiences that shape who we are, endings, while felt significantly, are not the end. As a Praxis group then, instead of saying the program was ending, we intentionally discussed and practiced sending. How will this past shape our future? I'm not so ambitious or naive to think my students ended the program with all their questions answered when it comes to faith and life. They have a ways to go. So do I. We all do. But a shift from ending to sending accepts that our lives are on a trajectory - we are all headed somewhere and this ending plays a significant part in that journey. And we realize ending is in fact sending - sending us towards whatever is next.