Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Exits and entrances

Exits and entrances

In front of me, the president of the large university my daughter will attend in the fall is speaking. But in my 8:18 moment of observation, I notice something else.

An exit sign.

What things do we simultaneously see and not see each day? I would venture that nearly every exit sign fits that description. And yet, in my state of self-inflicted awareness, here I am, staring at it.

I can’t help thinking about how this university represents a transition – a leaving not only for my daughter, but for my wife and me. We’re leaving the role of active parent after 33 years, walking through a door into a new stage of life.

We’re moving into something new. I don’t know what exactly it will entail, but it will be good. I have no time for the term empty nest. Should we apply the same negative avian imagery for graduation: thrown from the nest? Or perhaps, flockless? Poor little birds.

So not empty nest.  How about expectant next!

Every exit sign could also be labeled an entrance. Every leaving is a passage toward an arriving. Psalm 121 puts it succinctly: The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. He will guard every passage, every transition, making it useful to his purposes.

In God, there is no emptiness. Only fullness, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing.  Behind those waiting doors, blessings abound.


Lord, I will not fear the passing of time, the turning page, the changing of seasons. In you we move from glory to glory. You are the all-compassionate keeper of my leaving and my coming in, and I trust you to guide me safely through whatever is ahead.


Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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