Saturday, June 04, 2005

Home Again!

I’m back from the Conference meeting. I’m also tired. Yet, I learned something important.

Of course, there were all of the normal things a Church Conference has to do for its normal operation: voting on new plans, budget, etc. Learning about what is happening with people and churches in the Conference. That’s expected and why I attended the meeting.

However, there was also a fringe benefit: the old friends who were also at the conference. I believe that I encountered more at this meeting than at any I have attended in the past thirty years. It was pleasant seeing them and talking with them.

I met friends and colleagues, some of whom I had not seen since our seminary days. We caught up on the changes in out lives: our children, our divorces, our marriages, our successes, our failures. That was good—it was also heartrending at times. A retired pastor came with his wife from eight hundred miles away because their son was moderating the meeting, just as his mother had twenty or so years ago. The distressing part was that his mother has had a stroke, is in a wheelchair, and can hardly speak. I emcountered the widow of a pastor who filled the trunk of my car with books that he soon would be unable to read because he was going blind. That brought back what could have been tearful memories.

Still, that social part of the meeting was, for me, as or more important that casting my vote fro the budget and the long range plan. More about the conference meeting later at another time.

The first thing I did when I returned home this evening was to feed my little hedonistic feline friend, Alex. This time it appears he didn’t host a party while I was gone. He has, however, been demanding of my attention, to the point that he attempted to shred my newspaper with his claws while I was reading it.

One page that his claws didn’t slash was my horoscope for thr coming week. The words were not something I really wanted to read, even though I put as much credence into horoscopes as I do snake oil. In a nut shell, that horoscope delineated the ancient creed: eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. That is how it says I should spend the next week. It even ended with a quote from Frank Lloyd Wright: Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.

This is not what I want or need to hear after a conference that—at least in part— revitalized my spiritual life. So I shall—as I usually do—ignore my horoscope for the coming week. If it turns out that this does become a week filled with hedonistic delights, I’ll let you know. Don’t hold your breath awaiting that revelation!

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