The school year is officially over and summer has begun. This means I’ve completed my first year as the Dean of Men. Remnants of the year continue to demand attention because sin, righteousness, and shepherding aren’t bound by semesters. Dean responsibilities are also different than my previous RD responsibilities because now I work through the summer. But the schedule and pace are entirely different. So we’re certainly looking forward to June for some much-needed recalibrating and refreshment.
It’s been a full couple months. We walked through dozens of student leadership interviews, had an orientation with the new staff, spent hours upon hours interviewing potential Resident Directors, began saying goodbye to several of my best friends, had countless opportunities to enjoy, encourage, and exhort students, attended my youngest brother’s graduation from Oklahoma State, and participated in our Senior Staff Retreat and Student Life guys’ camping trip. The memory seems to be a blur now.
During June I hope to spend lots of time together with family, prepare 10-12 messages for various teaching opportunities in the next three months, make substantial progress on my Th.M. thesis, prepare for an overseas trip later in the summer, begin to envision and plan the Deans’ Staff direction for the 2009-2010 school year, research training strategies and techniques for a marathon or duathlon next May at Camp Pendleton, and make some significant life adjustments so that certain priorities can go from the back burner to the front burner (or from the freezer to the fire in some cases).
May 31st is more the end of the year for us than December 31st, so I hope to set aside some healthy time for reflection. All in all, it’s been a very challenging year. I’ve tended to be brutally transparent about it toward the end (mainly with close friends), and though I don’t plan to rehash that brutality or that transparency here, suffice it to say that we are looking to God’s grace to revitalize and restore us. Many have said this in many different ways in many different seasons, but it’s still worth repeating: It is good, and always better than we think, to sense deeply our deep need of Him.
Perhaps June will also spell the beginning of a return to the unique joy and calm reflection of writing. I lost something very precious this year, and would be delighted to regain it. In time, I trust. Perhaps I will begin with some lessons from the school year to follow up on a similar post from the end of the calendar year. We will see.