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Archive for March, 2010

When I was in high school, I had three friends who were especially close. We’d hang out together, go to movies, go to the lake, go to the amusement park together. We had some really good times with good clean fun. I don’t have as many memories as I do feelings of those times. I just remember laughing a lot. Finally, we graduated together, with Robert at the top of our class, and Glenn, Mike and I within three digits of him in class rank. Over time, we went our different ways, school, jobs, military. A couple of years ago, Mike’s daughter was going to get married so he called our parents to get our contact info. That began an email correspondence of catching up with one another. Glenn, who lives in Hawaii, came to NC for a visit last September, so the four of us got together in Hickory for an evening of hamburgers and laughs. It wasn’t all funny. Each of us has had some hard times in the 30+ years since we’ve been in the same room together. But it felt right. We were still friends. We’ve had a lot of changes, some of which have been good. We have gained some wisdom. Impermanence is not always bad. It is good to have maturing relationships, educated minds and deeper souls. I love these guys. I think our friendship is going to last.

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I am not doing so well on my Lenten practice of keeping up with my pictures and blog, but I am trying to pick it back up now after a couple of weeks on the road. I am doing better on my Lenten practice of walking a labryinth each week. This week, I went to Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, which has a labryinth in their chapel. The chairs have been moved aside, as have the lectern, kneeling bench and communion table to reveal the labryinth. It is carved into the marble floor, but is not colored, so it is somewhat difficult to see.

As I walked, I thought of how this is not unlike our journey in life – it is sometimes difficult to see exactly where we should go. Yet, we move on in the confidence that the Sculptor of our life’s labryinth will not let us wander too far off before calling us back on track.

This communion table was in the chapel. It is very unusual, with ancient writing all around it – Greek, Aramaic and Latin. This picture is of a Latin phrase from I Corinthians 5:7, Clean out the old yeast. It is dificult to find Latin translations or to turn an English phrase into Latin, because no one speaks Latin anymore. It is a dead language. Even languages are impermanent.

(BTW, today’s blog title is Latin for “This too shall pass”.)

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I spent a week recently at the ChurchWorks conference in Nashville, TN. I stayed in a small room (7×12) at the Scarett-Bennett Conference Center. It was very cold outside at night (22), but this little room had a great heater unit. It did not have a thermostat, just a fan speed control.  The room had a draft around the window, so it was too cool to leave the heat off, but too hot to leave it on. I openned the window to stay anywhere near comfortable. Apparently, it got so hot in the room at one time that the door stopper actually melted! I don’t know what the melting temperature of rubber is, but I’m thinking that visitor did not sleep so well that night. There is enough rubber left on the stopper to protect the wall, so it will not be damaged. But what’s going to protect the protection? This is a prophylactic parable about impermanence. Even our best made plans can melt.

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