It has been too long since my last post, but it has been a very busy and hectic month with a variety of ups and downs. The photo above was taken on a nice Sunday morning hike while I was attending CREDO near Prescott, AZ. A new friend and I hiked up to Thumb Butte on the morning in which they let the clergy participants have the morning off to enjoy as a sabbath. It was a great 4 hour hike through a mostly forested area. We spotted a coyote, numerous lizards and a variety of birds along the way. Great fun.
Later in the day we had the opportunity to share with the rest of the group the plan we had prayerfully developed over the last week. My three major goals are to Elevate; Instigate, Delegate, Congregate, Participate; and to Celebrate, Anticipate. Of course under each goal there are objectives to address spiritual, health, vocational and financial issues and opportunities. While the plan did not come together as easily and quickly as my CREDO I plan, I think that this one may be more realistic. Indeed upon returning to Laramie, I have taken some serious steps to live it. It could be easy to just shelve it, but the bottom line for me is that I really would like to "finish strong," knowing that this last season of my ordained life as my best time of ministry.
Getting to the real meat of the plan, however, has been slowed somewhat by the time and efforts of helping Mother and Daddy pack up the necessities of moving from their house of 48 years and hometown of 80 plus years in order to move to a senior housing complex here in Laramie.
This house is a place of great memories for all of us. During the construction phase we all had jobs to do as Daddy did much of the physical labor. My brother learned many carpenter skills and I got to be a pro at keeping the coffee pot going, cooking hot dogs in the fireplace and keeping my sister out of harm's way. It was a wonderful neighborhood with many kids our age and younger. With lots of construction going on all around us we had plenty of dirt piles for dirt clod fights and hills to build roads and cities for our cars and trucks. There were open lots for our own baseball and football fields. And lots of job opportunities babysitting. With the Rawlins uplift just across the highway we had access to a whole range to explore. We often took the fixings for breakfast and cooked on a fire at our fort. It is amazing to me now to realize how much freedom we had in our rough and tumble play.
At one point our home was crowded with Grampy and a cousin or two living with us at the same time. Mother's grace-filled hospitality made everyone feel welcome to stay for a meal, so the table was always crowded with people and lots of great food. I suppose it is no wonder that her hand-written recipe books for each of us kids and grandkids are among our prized possession.
Their new apartment is about the size of their first home in Rawlins which will take some getting used to, though I suspect Daddy won't miss mowing the lawn and shoveling the snow very much. Even as I appreciate this new opportunity of getting to stop by for a cup of coffee or a cocktail, I know that they are having to make some pretty big adjustments to life in a new place and city.
Advice from a card I receive upon returning from CREDO seems apt for me and for them in this time of transition. I quote below:
Take time to work. It is the price of success.
Take time to meditate. It is the source of power.
Take time to play. It is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read. It is the way to knowledge.
Take time to be friendly. It is the road to happiness.
Take time to laugh. It is the music of the soul.
And take time to love and be loved.
And so now on with the rest of life, finding God's grace in myriad ways as we taste and see God's goodness in our past, present and plans for the future.