“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, English Standard Version).
It was early September 1993. The weather at 30,000 feet was predictably clear. I had been looking forward to that day for quite some time. The thought of leaving my hometown to start a new life in college was exciting. I was heading to Concordia University Wisconsin to study business and aviation, and all of my life up to that point had been in the small town of Emmett, Idaho. Leaving on an airplane by myself created a distinct beginning of this new chapter. The adventure of it all convinced me ahead of time that this was going to be an opportunity with such promise that I never once thought much about the reality that was about to take place. I was seated in a Boeing 737 from Boise, heading to Milwaukee through Chicago’s O’Hare and I remember thinking to myself that my new life had finally begun.
When we pulled up to the gate to deplane in Chicago I again checked my connection ticket for the flight number of the plane that I would look for on the information screen in the terminal. Entering the terminal I was amazed at all the people. Looking around, I became very aware that in the crowd of busy bustling people, I knew no one. It occurred to me that for the first time in my life, I was alone in a place where I knew no one. The reality that my life was going to change started to sink in. It was exciting yes, but if I was truly honest with myself, it was also quite scary.
This time of year always gets me thinking about change. The obvious change in the color of the leaves, reminds me that a transition is taking place. Whether I like it or not, the weather is going to change. The leaves are going to fall. And soon, snow will blanket the earth for a time as the horizon changes from green to white. We can do nothing to stop the cycle of change that is coming with the weather. Change comes, and we work to prepare for it.
In our Lutheran Schools teachers strive to give students the tools needed to meet the changes that quickly happen in our world while anchored to a firm foundation rooted in the teachings of Jesus. Whether God sees it fitting as they turn into adults to plant them down the road or on the other side of the globe, our prayer is that the lessons of Jesus taught in these halls go with them.
I often think of that September day in the terminal of O’Hare in 1993, and how I did not know at the time how it all was going to turn out. Looking back, I see how Jesus is always there for us in those times of change. No one knows what tomorrow may bring, may we find comfort in knowing that our Heavenly Father will be there.
Neil F. Webb