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X-2I’ve written before about nostalgia being the thief of the future and the assassin of hope. Like the freed Israelites, thinking back with fondness on their full bellies in Egypt, we tend to think fondly of days gone by—most of the time too fondly, forgetting the hardships endured in days gone by.

I am at a bit of a crossroads or perhaps a fork in the road. Applications at colleges have not produced and I’m faced with the prospect that my days in student affairs work may be over. I never thought I’d end up in retail, but God certainly has opened those doors with my current position. Here’s the rub: I like it. It’s interesting, varied and I really feel as if I’m helping people.

As the days progress, I feel more and more like that part of my life is over and I’m beginning a new chapter. That’s my x–life. It’s not without sadness and disappointment. This was my life’s work and there is bound to be a bit of mourning as it passes.

It is reminiscent of Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, Burn the Ships.

In the spring of 1519 a Spanish fleet set sail
Cortez told his sailors this mission must not fail
On the eastern shore of Mexico they landed with great dreams
But the hardships of the new world make them restless and weak
Quietly they whispered, “Let’s sail back to the life we knew”
But the one who led them there was saying

Burn the ships, we’re here to stay
There’s no way we could go back
Now that we’ve come this far by faith
Burn the ships, we’ve passed the point of no return
Our life is here
So let the ships burn

I’m not ready to give up on “egypt” just yet. I’m not ready to “burn the ships.” I still have plenty of applications out there. I’ve taken the “retail” fork in the road, but I’m not so far down that road that I could not turn around and continue on the road I was on.

However, the lyrics go on to say:

In the spring of new beginnings a searching heart set sail
Looking for a new life and a love that would not fail
On the shores of grace and mercy we landed with great joy
But an enemy was waiting to steal, kill, and destroy
Quietly he whispers, “Go back to the life you know”
But the one who led us here is saying

Burn the ships, we’re here to stay
There’s no way we could go back
Now that we’ve come this far by faith
Burn the ships, we’ve passed the point of no return
Our life is here
So let the ships burn

Nobody said it would be easy
But the one who brought us here
Is never gonna leave us alone

This much I know: I have to “burn the ships” named Nostalgia, Comfortable Life, Familiarity, Longing to Return and others—those ships have to burn. I may end up back in Student Development, but if I do, it won’t be in the same place nor with the same people (thank God), so the ships associated with those feelings need to burn. Anyone got any gasoline? 😉

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