So you live in a place for two months, sharing virtually everything from living space to germs, and the time comes that you must move on to the next place. It is not enough that you pack it all in and depart, you have created relationships, some of the younger ones serious relationships, and you must deal with those relationships. Some deal with it by not dealing with it. They slip off on the early ferry hoping against hope that no one will come by (not certain if it is an emotional thing, or they simply can't bear the thought of the embarrassing display of affection at the goodbyes. I will not reveal what that is; you must come and experience it for yourself. Some deal with it by getting all caught up in the emotion, in the goodbye, in the terminal status that this creates. The leaving becomes the important part. Some deal with it by focusing on what comes next; how you move on from this small piece of life to the next piece of life. We make inquiries about what lies beyond Iona, and how soon you will make the plunge into the real world outside these tiny shores and sparkling waters. Some have huge plans that carry them to other far flung places, but not quite as remote, before emerging in reality. Others, like me, will take a couple of days to renter society (let's face it, I have not dealt with keys or people I don't spend all my nights and days with in some time) and then plunge headlong into reality.
But the big reality is that our time here on this tiny remote beautiful island is as real as it gets. All of life is compressed into a week’s time frame; you meet strangers who will be close friends, perhaps companions by Tuesday, who you will have to say goodbye to on Friday morning. Chances are you will never see them again. So the larger aspect of reality is how has this effected/affected who you are in your real reality? How can you live the words we offer each morning in worship? We will seek peace and pursue it. We will not offer to God offerings which cost us nothing. It is not simply that we are leaving, but are we leaving with sufficient change to impact in God like and significant ways the world that we will be living in.