Indeed, the year of 2008 is here! I am in the process of bidding my farewells to 2007 and preparing my welcomes to 2008. A lot of things will change this year, both personally and in the world outside.
First, to give a sort of recap of 2007. This was the year I graduated high school, went to the North Woods again, and began my freshman year at St. John's College.
The first part of 2007 was spent preparing for my high school recital to benefit the organization The Smile Train. That took place in April, when I played at Mt. Carroll's Church of God on a Yamaha G3 piano. Soon afterwards I graduated, and ran off to Northern Wisconsin. There in the North Woods I received my spiritual preparation for St. John's. I spent seven weeks as an Assistant Counselor, working with kids for fortnight stints at a time, one after the other. Fairly intense and slightly overwhelming at times, it forced out my extrovert side (which has always been a little understated) and compelled me to interact with people more than I normally do. I developed a strong dependence upon God and strengthened my relationship with His Son, continuing in '06's commitment.
By the time ACing was up, it was time to work. I spent two, three weeks working with Ms. Webber in the barn and Justin Cope in the kitchen. That was the first time I had earned real money - almost $600 worth. Thrilled? You bet. It's a pleasure to work in the (relatively) free market and earn money like nobody's business. I can honestly say that it was the time of my life, this past summer.
Summer went fast, I will admit, but the fall semester went even faster. On 28 August (the most eventful day of my life) I boarded a plane at O'Hare and flew to Albequerque and then took a shuttle to Santa Fe, where I got off at St. John's College. Let me tell you that this past semester flew past faster than anything I have ever done before. Tutors, programs, books, Socrates, Plato, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euclid all ran past me in an ancient blur. It has been the most intense four months of my life. I have had to balance many things simultaneously: my Christianity, my work, my academics, and my music. I will freely admit it is quite a challenge, but it is a challenge I willingly and passionately welcome. I love St. John's and I want to succeed there. God willing, that is precisely what I shall do.
Winter break flew past, and now I am at home, having spent (that's the perfect there!) a few weeks enjoying the company of my complete family; all us kids from Nate and Becca to Abby were home which made for a wild party, let me assure you. Now they are gone save us Younger Three, and in the next 12 days I shall completely review my Greek book and read Thucydides' Peloponnesian War. God willing, I will succeed. Break has been awesome, but it is time to crack down.
As you can see, it has been an eventful year. So much has happened, and so many blessings have been poured out upon me. Mr. Keegan got it right when he said that "You've got a lot of things going for you right now." Well shucks, I guess he's right. I feel like I'm on the top of the world: I serve a good God, I attend a phenomenal school, and I love the great music of the ages. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but when I look back at the year past, I am astounded at how great a God I serve and how much He has blessed me. My atheism has been destroyed and replaced by a clear and vibrant faith in the Divine and in my salvation. There is a certainty I feel (feel, not think!) when I review 2007 that tells me I am following the right path.
I approach the New Year, 2008, the Year of the Rat (I do so love the Chinese Calendar) with great hope and optimism. God willing, I will complete my freshman year and work at HoneyRock Camp over the summer. I have little clear idea what will happen otherwise. I greatly hope I will return to St. John's College in the fall of '08, but perhaps God has something else in mind. Whatever it is, I am incredibly excited to find out.
What else is there to say but "Lead me on, and I will run after You"?