Reunions Reminders and Reflections

My 20th high school reunion was this past weekend (and even thinking about it now just seems weird it has been that long).  It was a good time spent over a couple of days both at (what turned out to be homecoming) football game Friday night and then gathering and dinner on Saturday night.  I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen since the 10 year reunion and then some I hadn’t seen in probably 20 years.

I have to admit I was kinda surprised that so many were so excited to see me.  Not that I don’t appreciate it, I do.  I just feel like growing up it took a long time for me to fit in.  Probably not until really my senior year did I feel like I belonged.  I think that’s the case of growing up in one town and going to school in another town.  Looking back, going to school where I did made me into who I am today.  If I hadn’t went to school there, I would be very different I would imagine.  So I appreciate where I went and the friends I had there.

I had one friend come up and say to me “You haven’t changed a bit!”  I laughed and was like “Was that a good thing or a bad thing?”  On the one hand yeah I kinda still look the same as I did but I sure don’t feel like I’m the same (which I would say is a good thing).  I would hope that I have at least grown in wisdom and maturity (even though I still have the tendency to do and say stupid things because sinful nature).  But I hope that I haven’t lost that innocence I had as a kid.

I was glad to catch up with some friends I hadn’t seen in a really long time and was sad that there were some that weren’t able to be there.  I was happy to hear some good stories about some fun and exciting adventures my friends have had.  And I was sad to hear stories of friends being at odds with one another.

This weekend reminded me of a film I recently watched called Juilet, Naked.  The main characters in the film throughout the film dealt with the regrets of decisions in the past as well as the struggles of life in the present.  I think we all have those regrets and struggles that we wrestle with at every stage of life.  But I trust that God works through all of them at all points.  I am who I am today because of what has come before.  But my worth is not defined by that.  I find my worth in Jesus.  I have my experiences to share my story and through that hopefully point people to Jesus.

I have been blessed to have lived where I’ve lived, to serve where I have served, to learn what I have learned and hopefully that can in turn be a blessing to others.  This past weekend was another good reminder of that.

Reflecting with Gonzo

I’m a fan of the Muppets (as you can tell from the Cookie Monster video from earlier in the week).  I grew up watching the old Muppet movies and TV shows along with Sesame Street.  There is a lot of good stuff to learn from the Muppets (besides ABCs & 123s).  You can learn a lot about life and living.

I was thinking a lot about a song from the first Muppet movie (titled enough The Muppet Movie).  The song “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday” is one of the famous Muppet songs.  The scene is the Muppets are together camping out after their car broke down in the middle of the desert.  As they sit around the campfire, Rowlf breaks out his harmonica and Fozzie his guitar.  The two begin to play a tune as Gonzo sings.

The song is an encouraging song in the midst of a discouraging time.  Some of the lyrics include such lines as:

Close to my soul, and yet so far away.
I’m going to go back there someday.

Sun rises, night falls, sometimes the sky calls.
Is that a song there, and do I belong there?

It’s hard sometimes when you feel beat up by life to keep going.  It’s also hard to not become cynical and hardened by those times.  This is the case even for someone who has been a Christian now for a long time (25 years).  It’s in those times it’s good to be reminded back when I first became a Christian and how there was so much joy and faith.  Even though I didn’t know much then, there was so much hope.  In the song, Gonzo is kind of protraying that.

Another line that sticks out is this one:

I’ve never been there, but I know the way.
I’m going to go back there someday.

I’ve not been to heaven but I know the way.  And thanks to Jesus I’m going to go there someday.  In the meantime, I have the journey of faith to keep on going.  It’s not easy and there will continue to be times of struggle and heartache.  But the good thing is that I’m not alone.