Leaving behind

We moved out of our old offices to new offices. 

“Remember the first time you walked into these offices?” our leader said.

Most of us did. Most of us first visited those offices to interview. Then we showed up to shadow someone for a few hours, to find out what it would be like to actually be a hospital chaplain. Then we started working, discovering what it was like to watch people die, to watch people live, to watch people in shock. We had really hard conversations with really difficult people. We had delightful conversations with really difficult people. We went from feeling completely confused and out of our comfort to being only occasionally confused and more comfortable than we ever imagined we could be. 

None of those things happened in the offices, of course. 

In the office is where we rescued each other, where we talked with each other about things that no one else would understand. In the office is where we were almost sure we would never come back. In the office is where some of us realized we wouldn’t come back. 

“As we leave these offices, what do you want to leave here?” someone asked. What are the insecurities, the forgiven moments not forgotten. What are the patterns to change, the habits to shift, the confidence to gain. 

“For one thing, we’re not walking into the new offices afraid of the interview, of the first day.” 

We prayed and walked out of our empty offices into our new chaotic, unpacked offices. 

When Paul talks about forgetting what lies behind and pressing on, he’s offering a fresh start. Not that Paul ever forgot his backstory. He talked about bits of it a number of times. But I think that he left behind the bondage of that story. With the writer of Hebrews, he released a bunch of stuff that help him back, that slowed him down. 

We have that opportunity, too. 

I was the last one out of our offices, at least from that formal departure. I shut off the lights, lights that are never off. I tried to leave some insecurity there, too. I know how much it can slow me down.