It’s finals week at the end of the year of years. Darin, Jerrica, and I sit under a banner that reads, “FREE PIZZA” to which we get variations on the theme of:
What do I have to do?
What’s your deal?
We talk, we share, we host, and rest together. Andrew, a PoliSci major, shares that he won’t move home for the summer because, “honestly dude, I’m too tired.” Andrew echoes a common theme among this year’s seniors and graduates, especially. Students who, in past years, would have blazed through to graduate program look forward to a break from the weight of a year of years, get a job, and “check out for a while,” shares Maya, a Religious Studies major. This continues to be a season of pushing beyond the limits of what many of us thought possible. Vacations seem like a dream, a weekend free of responsibilities feel necessary, and nothing to do has never felt more welcome.
Whether it’s waiting for your passport that the International Student Center assured you would process in 3-4 weeks and it’s Thursday of the fourth week and your flight leaves at 10am the day after tomorrow OR the two to three months between application and acceptance of your dream job OR you really just want a slice of pepperoni at Woodstock’s and they toss out that ‘it’ll just be a few minutes,” the moments between decision and completion can feel interminable. And they are, let’s be clear. There’s an entire process before the decision that I’m interested in lately. Discernment.
Way before the application to travel came the desire to travel then the dreaming of destination, experience, adventure, connection, service, the mind wonders. How we want to interact with our dream is interesting to me right now. While moving through a broader season of “need to” and smaller seasons of “want to” our minds create such realities of joy and imagination where we see ourselves how we want to be seen. Before the budget, before the itinerary, before flight duration comes self-imagination and, when we hold then embrace that image, we become aware of the joy that wells up within us, manifesting in a brighter smile, slower heart rate, deeper breathing. The reality of tropical breeze and sundrenched beach fades into columns of time away, budgets, responsibility, and everything keeping us from that beach but we remember that we really like ourselves in that fantasy and, really, that’s a very good place to live for a while. For me, discernment is the moment between the fading dream of the beach and the dawning reality when I hold both as possibilities.
In a very practical way, discernment lives in our daily life and something that Agape San Diego lives into daily. Our goal is to develop a space to embrace discernment of our whole selves. At the end of a semester, when now means now and studying becomes much more real, a space to rest under FREE PIZZA feels so very welcome.
Greg Tuttle, Agape Campus Connections