Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reunion

Ruby Voigt (1987)

"I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion." 
2 Timothy 1:4 (MSG)

This fall, I will return again. 

 Twenty five years ago, I left with much hope for a brilliant but unknown future ahead.  I said good-bye to people I had lived with, played with, fought with and studied with.  

 Fifteen years ago, I returned.  I saw those same people again.  Ten years had past and the faces had matured.  Some had gained families.  Some had experienced life in a way they never would have dreamed of when they were students.  

This fall I will return to the Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute in Outlook, Saskatchewan for a reunion with my graduating classmates from 1987.  Twenty-five years has passed since we sat in the classrooms of Old Main, ate our meals in the school cafeteria and wandered the hills beside the South Saskatchewan River. Twenty-five years seems like a lifetime and a half.  And I ask myself the age old question.  "Where did the time go?"

Before returning for the ten year homecoming in 1997, I published a top ten list in L.C.B.I.'s newsletter (The Beacon).  There were ten reasons why I wanted to come back for Homecoming in 1997.  I don't have such a list this time, but I have been contemplating the reason or reasons for making the pilgrimage back to Outlook.  There isn't a list of reasons this time, but there is a list of questions. 

1. What do I expect to see when I return?
2. What do I want to know when I get there? 
3. Who do I want to meet with?
4. Who do I want to bring with me? 
5. How am I going to spend my time once I am there? 
6. What is Sunday morning going to look like?
7. How are my attitudes going to affect my experience and the experience of others?
8.  How do I deal with disappointment if it comes?
9.  How truthful do I get with people who haven't seen me in years? 
10.  What is my purpose for going or do I even need a purpose?  

Some of my classmates upon reading this list may conclude that I am overanalyzing the whole trip.  

"Just come and have a good weekend! "
"Let's get together and laugh about old times."
"Don't worry!" 

This year, I have been challenged with the purpose of going back.  When I was nineteen and saying good-bye to my home of three years, I didn't ponder purpose.  Now I am forty-three and pondering purpose.  

I have connected with a few of my classmates via Facebook in the last year.  Other than that, I haven't had much contact with the other forty some people in my grad class in the last few years.  Maybe I am worried.  In some ways, I am the same girl I was in 1987, in some ways, I am very different.  I have different ideals now than the ones I was raised with.   


This last fall I went to another reunion.  My family gathered together to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary.  I was excited to be there.  I was thrilled to gather with aunts and uncles and cousins and exchange thoughts and laughs.  I don't have much contact with my extended family except the odd visit and Facebook.  But for a weekend, we all gathered together and for no other purpose than being together as a family and celebrating the years together.  

I guess I can return to Outlook without the "over-analysis".  I can go back and just enjoy seeing people and share thoughts and laughter.  I will bring my camera and see what gemstones I can take home with me, both in photography and in memories.  

"When you see them coming, you'll smile - big smiles!  Your heart will swell and , yes, burst! All those people returning by sea for the reunion..."  
Isaiah 60:5 (MSG)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Religion: hate it or love it?

Drew Marshall posted a couple of videos on Facebook this week. Take a look at both creative expressions and let me know what you think. The first one.


WHY I HATE RELIGION BUT LOVE JESUS


  The second one:

WHY I LOVE RELIGION AND LOVE JESUS


I listened to both poetic expressions and I am wondering...

Are we the OPPOSITION or are we on the same TEAM.

 There are so many different expressions of faith in this world and in the body of Christ.  Some would look in from the outside and see it as competition within the ranks.  I don't know.  I have been to a few team events in my life.  Following are a couple of analogies to explain where I am going with this one.


BASEBALL

Rogers Center, Toronto, Ontario

I used to like baseball.  I would watch it over the season and I had my favourite team to cheer for: the Toronto Bluejays.  I have been to Toronto and seen them in action four times against the New York Yankees.  My second favourite team was The New York Yankees.   So I sit up in the stands and I have to cheer for someone... right?  I cheered for Toronto, because they were number one.  But if I was at home watching New York playing someone else,  I would cheer for them. When those two teams were together in the field.  I noticed how nasty the fans got.  There was no singing "Take me out to the ball game".  They were loud in their rebukes for the opposite team.  I came away from that game wondering if it is okay to like both sides.





My favourite game of the year was the Allstars.  Toronto and New York,  along with American League team members from across the country gathered to play off the National League.  When the Allstars hit the field, there they were.  Bluejays and Yankees, each sporting their own jersey, but playing on the same team. 


Here's another analogy. 

BASKETBALL.

Sean (#14)  airborne to block a shot from Ben. 

The game was at Hay Lakes High School, in January 2010.  The teams:  The Hay Lakes Tigers vs. The Hay Lakes Alumni.  I had my new Rebel Camera busy that game.  It was a good thing,  I didn't know who to cheer for.  My nephews (pictured above) were playing on opposite teams.  It was the first sporting event I had been to where the boys were up against each other.  I can't remember who won.  That is a good thing too.  But I caught a couple of good shots of the two brothers going head to head.








Those are my analogies.  So my question is... are we on the same team with different jerseys or are we brothers battling it out on the court just waiting for the other one to mess up so we can get in our shot?

 What team are you on?   How do you define religion?  Do you empathize with the poet who sees a difference between the institutional systems of this world and his love for his Saviour or do you empathize with the priest who sees those systems as an avenue for the love to be spread? 

I would like to hear some thoughts on this one.