I couldn’t wait to graduate high school. Of course there were a myriad of reasons. I would finally get to fulfill that deep longing that senioritis had been spreading through me for so long. I would be closer to heading to college where my head and heart had already been dwelling for quite some time. I would be moving out into a new place to make new friends and build a new community. And these were all grand. But another reason why I wanted to graduate was because I would finally receive a laptop. But not just any laptop. A MacBook.
I remember graduation day. My family gathered together. My Dad prepared good food and we ate cookie cake for desert. We sat around in a circle and I opened cards and gifts. A GPS to get me to Abilene safe from my Grandma. Systematic Theology from my brother as a primer for what I would learn in school. But then it came. The beautiful white box with a brand new MacBook in it. It’s elegant yet simple design. And while I had looked so forward to this gift, I didn’t open it yet.
After graduation I was immediately going to a summer camp at ACU followed by a mission trip to Honduras followed by a camping vacation, then a short week at home, and finally another summer camp with a good friend. Yeah, it was a busy summer. Because I would be all over the place, I didn’t want to open it and start it up yet. I wanted to wait for the right moment. When I could really pause and take in the beauty of a brand new MacBook. So it wasn’t until most of the way through the summer that I finally opened it. But it was a special moment nonetheless.
Morgan and I are moving to Seattle in seven weeks. Today when I got home from work, she had begun taking things off the walls and sorting things to sell in the garage sale we’re having in a week and a half.
She gets this energy and vigor when she gets to do things like this. Sorting and selling and giving away. I remember at the end of college when she first sold off and gave away most of her things. She loved it. It’s a time of dreaming and preparing for the future. It is fresh life and newness. She was in the same mode today.
I, on the other hand, become oddly sentimental in these sorts of moments. A lump forms in my throat and I begin thinking of all sorts of odd things I didn’t realize mattered so much to me. For example, we were sorting out luggage bags into the ones we wanted to sell and an old cheap Motorola duffle bag came up that we placed in the sell-pile. There’s nothing particularly great about that bag and no reason for us to keep it. We have plenty of other great bags for traveling. But this is one that my Dad gave to me a long time ago when I was maybe seven or eight. He got it at some kind of convention that he went to. But it’s the bag that I’ve used for everything since then. I packed up my clothes every other weekend to visit my dad’s house growing up. I took this bag to summer camp every year. I traveled with it to Honduras and Uganda. This was my bag. And in a couple of weeks we will probably sell it for five bucks. Maybe that seems silly, but it’s so sentimental to me. I hope whoever gets it from us brings it all over the world too.
With all of this sentimentality, I’ve really paused today to question the past two years. Who am I? Who have I become? How have I grown? What parts of me have grown full and which parts lie vacant? What changes have been circumstantial and which ones run deeper? Of course I don’t have answers to these, but it makes me wonder.
And even more, it makes me wonder who I will become in the years ahead? Who will I become? How will I grow? Which parts of me will come to life and which parts will pass away? What kind of habits will I form and what kind of character will I develop? I can’t answer these either, but I can wonder. And that’s worth something.
I’m writing this blog post, six years later, from that same computer. And this is my final blog from it. After I click the publish button, I will insert the OS disc and restore this computer to a fresh empty shell. I sold it to make way for something new in this next season. I’m happy to have sold it to a good friend. Yet knowing that this is the last thing I will write on this computer gives me pause and is sentimental like everything else.
I wrote a degree’s worth of papers on this computer. I recorded an album of songs on this computer. Greg and I created a podcast on this computer. I struggled with sin on this computer. I built a website from this computer. I discovered liturgy on this computer.
No, it’s not a Windows computer, but it has been my window into much of the world for the past six years. For that I’m grateful.
Farewell computer. Serve your next owner well. I hope you have many years left in you. You have been a blessing. Continue to be a great tool in good hands.