Slowly but surely I am cleaning, organizing, and packing my things up for the big move post-graduation. It has been a cathartic experience looking back over the past three years by way of notes, cards, and gifts I’ve acquired. I came across a gift that each of the students in the class of 2012 received during orientation in late August 2009. During the Activities Fair, the Alumnae/i Council welcomed us with a Student Survival Kit. This kit was full of knick knacks that served as visual reminders of the sage advice and verses so colorfully printed on a note card. It was a happy surprise to come across it again. As I read through each line of the note, tears began to well up because it tells the story that I think most of us have lived while being here at Pittsburgh Seminary. More than that, it tells the story of experiences that have come before us and will come after us. Of course these words of encouragement and advice apply to us all as we live out the Christian faith. I pray it blesses you the way it blessed me.
- Toothpick: To remember to pick out the good in others. Matthew 7:1
- Rubber Band: To remember to be flexible. Romans 8:28
- Band-Aid: To remember to mend hurt feelings. Colossians 3:12-14
- Pencil: To remember to list your blessings daily. Ephesians 1:3
- Butterfinger Candy Bar: Because we all slip sometimes, and it’s okay. Genesis 50:15-21
- Gum: So you can stick to it. With God you can accomplish anything. Philippians 4:13
- Salt: To remind you God wants us to be the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13
- Candle: To remind us to be a light to someone else’s day. Matthew 5:14-16
- Puzzle Piece: To remember that without God we are not complete. Colossians 2:10
- Paperclip: To help you hold things together. Ephesians 4:15-16
- Nail: To help you remember the price Jesus paid because he loves you. John 3:16
- Eraser: To remind you that everyone makes mistakes. Romans 3:23
This post was first published in May 2012 and was updated in September 2015 and September 2016. The Rev. Melanie Kim Hamill graduated with her MDiv degree in 2012 and now serves as campus minister at Ringling College of Art and Design, New College, and University of South Florida Sarasota-Bradenton.
You can also view this survival kit as a SlideShare presentation (below) or PowerPoint.