Journey with John

Do you ever begin a task intending to do one thing, only to end up doing something barely related?  That was my experience Monday evening.  Cherilyn and I had been talking about bringing some order to some boxes of old family pictures.  I decided Monday evening was the time.  We have a closet upstairs that is the catch-all for the things that don’t have a “designated” place.  I was delighted to discover our pictures weren’t in as much disarray as I thought.  Most were placed in albums protecting them from the dust of days passed.  So, instead of cleaning, I opened one and was soon lost in delightful memories.  The years slipped away as I encountered my grandparents again – smiling and laughing at a picnic when I was just a child.  Oh God, thanks for the memories of my tiny grandma whose gentle voice and generous smile still warms my heart, and for my grandpa whose wonderful stories made me laugh and taught me how to be joyful.  So richly blessed….  There was a snapshot of my Dad in soldier’s garb smiling for his girl (my Mom).  The tears are still close as I think of him.  So many lovely images of family from my growing up years, people whose love helped fashion my future….  Another album revealed my dear Mom and my two brothers.  Looking at the pictures of our happy family, I realized why I never knew I grew up poor.  Rich treasures of years gone by.  Another album took me to places we traveled to with Cherilyn’s parents – two of the finest people I’ve ever known.  There’s a picture of her Dad and our son, Adam (he was about 3), working together on the dryer – side by side – priceless!  It warms my heart knowing how close they were.  And then, pictures galore of trips Cherilyn, Adam and I took that literally opened up the world to us.  So thankful for each beautiful moment.  When I closed the last one, my heart was a little lighter and my soul a lot brighter.  Memories are such treasures.  I spent a little time bringing a bit more order to our closet, so enjoying the time I spent with my lovely past.  And then, on to other cares.  I’m grateful for the memories that helped define my life….

During the month of September, we’ll be doing exactly the same thing as we remember seventy years of worship and study, potlucks, programs and picnics, challenges and victories… PEOPLE!  Some of us have memories that go back almost that far and some of us not so many, but ALL of us have been enriched, blessed and molded by experiences of the past.  Each memory is a treasure for each one helped fashion who we’ve become as Christ’s Church and who we are yet to become!  Celebrate our past, rejoice in our present, and anticipate what is yet to be!  Thanks for the memories, Federated Church!



Pastor John