View the March Newsletter here.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor. 13:11-13 NRSV
(Photo by Greg Richards)
“Where Are You Headed?”
by Rev. Rick Pittenger
Sunday afternoon we had our first rehearsal for the Vermillion Community Palm Sunday Cantata. Unfortunately, due to the long President’s Day Weekend, we only had 11 singers: 4 sopranos, 1 alto, 3 tenors and 3 basses. I sing bass and we were seated behind the two rows of sopranos. As I glanced up from my sheet music a t-shirt in the front row caught my eye. Peering over the pew were the words: “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) That is all I needed to go off on my day dreaming journey.
When I visited the Vermillion Care Center the other day, Joan told me the story of when her children were young and they took the train to Colorado. They were so excited to be going anywhere on a train. As she was trying to settle them all down, she noticed an elderly woman across the aisle on the train. When their eyes met, the other woman shared how she too was excited about this her first trip on the train. “I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve always wondered where this train track leads to. Today I’m going to find out!”
In the midst of the changing weather our landscape can go from frigid one minute to balmy the next. Snow that fell this morning has left no sign other than the puddles on the sidewalks and under the downspouts. I got to thinking about those two encounters I had this week. The first one talked about horizons and the second was much like the first. I recall someone sharing what another visionary had said, a poet really: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, / Or what's a heaven for?" (Robert Browning)
Each day of our lives we have choices to make about how we’ll live out our days. Many have given up on their dreams. Children are known for their dreams. “What will you be when you grow up?” is a question often asked of children. The years fly by, our lives ebb and flow, and some would argue we have no choice in the matters that influence our lives. Still, I think there is a certain disconnect when we become adults. It’s as if we think we can’t dream anymore. It’s as if we can’t ask questions of “why” anymore or perhaps even better: it appears we don’t dare ask “Why not?” It was not always that way for us; when does that stop? How old are we when we don’t ask questions of life and faith anymore? “When I became an adult…” What does that even mean?
I sat in the Mall of America a few days ago as my wife shopped in a nearby store. I watched as people walked by. Many were on their cell phones talking to some invisible person on the other end of the line. Simultaneously others zigged and zagged through the mall in a hurry to get to the next store, the next appointment, or just around the next corner while multitasking with one eye fixed to their cell phone screens, thumb texting the “others” of life. Seemingly no one was asking the question about where they were headed.
And I thought of the lady on the train who had finally decided to see where that train track led. My hope and prayer for you is to take a moment in your day to be at peace with where you are while looking for the next train bound for your greatest horizon yet to be enjoyed.
With blessings, grins and grace,