Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sunday Sermon in Freeport

On Sunday morning after we had let Lucky and Leah out into their pen, Cecelie and I ate toast together. Gerald always gets up early at Freeport and goes out for breakfast and reads the newspaper and comes back to the house when the rest of us are getting awake.

Jeannie and Rick had grabbed the opportunity while we were there to make a short over-night get-away to Chicago before their heavy school schedule begins again. So they were going to church up there, and we took Cecelie to Sunday School at her church, Park Hills Evangelical Free Church. In the past when we have gone with Jeannie and Rick we just tagged along to their class. However, being by ourselves, I wondered if it might be better for us to go to a senior citizens class. We went upstairs where a very elderly gentleman was standing at the coffee table. I assumed he was a host and asked him about a class for our age group. He shook his head sadly and said there was no class because we had missed Sunday School as the opening time had been changed. Puzzled at first, since we had just escorted Cecelie to her class for which she was obviously on time, I continued to listen to the sweet lonely old man explain how he belonged to another church but was here because he liked to stay involved and not let himself get bored. As he lectured on the importance and doing things and going places, I realized that he was indeed stretching himself. Since we were right by the classroom we usually attended, we left the old gentleman enjoying his cup of coffee and darted into the classroom of much younger adults where we were warmly welcomed and had a good Bible study based on a book by Philip Yancey.

Gerald collected Cecelie and we attended the worship service together. There we heard an outstanding sermon on the familiar passage in Ecclesiastes 3. I am still thinking of the pastor's studied conclusion that life is not a puzzle to be figured out but rather a gift from God to be enjoyed. It was comforting to be assured that many things are beyond our control and will happen no matter what we do, but a transition will always occur. Accepting transitions successfully is something we can do somethng about. I felt his brief sentence about the importance of recognizing when it was a time to keep and when it was a time to discard was meant just for me. I am still mulling on that as our week progresses.

We went to Wendy's for lunch and Gerald and Cecelie had a Frosty for dessert before we went back home for the afternoon. Cec was eagerly awaiting her parents' return, but she was easily occupied by the dogs, our walk, the visit of a neighbor child, etc. until Jeannie returned. (Rick had been dropped off at the high school, where his truck was, where he had been working on his math classes before they left on Saturday. While continuing his preparation, he phoned from there to say goodbye and thank us.) I liked hearing from Jeannie about their visit to the Toulouse LauTrec exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute that Rick was kind enough to take her to.

We quickly said our goodbyes and left at 5 and got onto Route 20, which we had learned the day before is the General Ulysses S. Grant Memorial Highway. We were intending to get a motel on the way back home, but the closer we got to home, the livelier Gerald became. We arrived at Woodsong at three minutes after midnight. We listened to reports of Hurricane Katrina as we drove down Route 57 and prayed for those in that awful situation knowing that much of what was going on was beyond their control and they were indeed going to have terrible transitions ahead of them.

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