Over but Only Beginning

May 7, 2007

Yesterday, I ate my first In-N-Out Burger since January. It was good.

And in case you didn’t catch it, eating In-N-Out again means that I am back in Southern California.

IBEX is over.

The last couple days in Israel, I started to realize how my time there was so suddenly coming to an end. Pretty soon I would not be waking up in Israel, spending all day every day with the amazing people of SPO’7, or learning from some of the best professors I have ever had. I would be diving back into my life in America, catching up with friends, and looking for a job.

But as I watched my last sunset from the synagogue ruins at Yad Hashmonah, I realized that my IBEX experience was over and only just beginning all at the same time. Yes, my life was about to change drastically, but it had to eventually; I could not stay at IBEX forever. And while the people I was with and the places I went were amazing, the most important thing about IBEX was what I learned about the Lord. As I return to my life here in California, a lifetime of enjoying the Lord that I got to know better at IBEX and applying the things I learned there begins.

While leaving IBEX was certainly sad, this realization fills me with excitement to return to return to my old life, but not necessarily to my old lifestyle. I want to read the Bible with delight and freshness everyday and memorize it so that I might meditate on it constantly and consistently. I want serve Hotchkiss better as an ARA next year than I did this year. I want to love people more than I fear them. I want to be more passionate about personal holiness and evangelism.

IBEX is gone, but the Lord is not. He is the same in Santa Clarita as he is at the Sea of Galilee. I learned a lot at IBEX, but that knowledge is all worthless if it does not change the way I live here. That’s why I’m excited. And that’s why I say my IBEX experience is over but only beginning.

This week I will be catching up with friends and family, so I doubt I’ll be blogging. Hopefully next week I will begin a productive summer of blogging, posting some about IBEX (especially the Egypt Chronicles) but also whatever else I want to write about.

Shalom.

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One Response to “Over but Only Beginning”

  1. Hannah said

    Ben, thanks for this post…I was very encouraged. I feel this way about graduating from college – I’m very sad to leave, but I must remember that God is not changing just because my circumstances are. And I am excited to move on with what the Lord has in store for me beyond life at Masters. I hope I get to see my WOW Group 18 buddy sometime this week! 🙂

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