Tonight the band I worked with last year had a final reunion party. I say “final” because I have a feeling we will never all be together again, at least not for a long while. That makes me sad, because we went through so much together last year and became a true family and it’s hard to see that end. But such is the way of life on this earth. These times are a preview of the days when my own kids will grow up and go away. That’s not something I’m ready for!
The party was fun. We played our traditional Taboo and Balderdash, drank IBC rootbeer, and talked and laughed and just enjoyed being with each other. Our student ministers Randy and Jeremy joined us to make the party that much better.
On nights like tonight I am painfully reminded that it is hard to be away from people who mean a lot to you. In our lives we move to new places, scatter over the face of the earth, leave the familiar and drive to the unknown. We fall out of touch. In addition, as the oldest person (by far) in this group I always feel just slightly behind. The cultural references pass me by. Tonight I learned what a “facebook” is, for instance. 🙂 Fascinating!
It’s easy to feel like a square peg in a round hole. Work with students as an older adult for a while and you will recognize this feeling. But I also know that really, as believers, none of us “belongs”. Not here. We long for a heavenly home, the place where we “fit”. Though I’ve been blessed beyond blessing here on earth with all I ever could have wanted and even more – my best friend and wife Jill, our four children, shelter, income, food, and treasured friends such as these – it dawns on me that I’ve been looking for the place Jesus is preparing for me all my life. My very flesh groans for it. To be with Him, that is Heaven!
I’d go in a second given the opportunity. To have my brokenness fixed, once and for all, and to be able to finally worship our Lord fully and with no guile, no pretense, and nothing held back . . . wow!
To be, finally, in that place where you never have to say goodbye . . .
But I remain here, in the struggle, in the joys and pains and weariness of this mortal life on our broken earth and in this broken body. And I accept that with joy. God has been very gentle with me, really, and has made my path very easy.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
– John 14:1-3 (ESV)
Below are some shots from the party. These people are precious to me – darn it, I miss them!
left to right: Jeremy, Randy, Joey, Brad, Kevo, with Mego and Kelso hugging
A bad smell (but not really – and no, Brad, it wasn’t Kelsey) . . .
Sad . . . Mego is distraught and Kevin has decided to drown his sorrows in IBC.