I may have mentioned this in a previous post; I don’t recall. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a meme that reminded me of myself: “You have to forgive me if I told you this before. I only have five memories and they take turns.” With a nod to some exaggeration, I resemble that from time to time.
Anyway, for the last few months I’ve been meeting virtually with some of my elementary school classmates. We just had our monthly get-together on Saturday evening for an hour. Some months we’ve had nearly twenty of us on the call and, in other months, maybe eight to ten. It’s been good reconnecting with people, most of whom, I haven’t seen since high school graduation.
The meetings are for our elementary school class because we all grew up in the same few neighborhoods. Many of our parents knew each other and some socialized together. We were all in the same classes together with the same teachers in a small school setting before the dispersion that middle school and high school tracking processes force.
We’re all around the same age: at or just before 70; a couple are at or near 71. Most of us are parents and grandparents, and even a few great-grandparents. I’ve really enjoyed listening to the life stories of people I was in reading groups with and with whom I played kickball and dodgeball at recess. They have all had rich and interesting experiences that have led them to this point in life, including the requisite bumps and bruises along the way.
Career wise, more than a few became teachers. One is a retired nurse who worked with developmentally disabled people and who now houses several developmentally disabled adults in her home. Another, who was with me in every grade from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade, became dean of students at a prominent university. One of the guys who was always good at sports played professional basketball in South America after college and went on to be a successful business owner before retiring. One of our number went on to get her PhD and has successfully run her on strategy consulting business for years and is still going strong.
Of the things we have in common, all of us are of the generation that witnessed and were a part of the social unrest in the 1960s. Each of us is very attuned to and conscious of the things in our current world that are disturbing to our collective peace. We’ve seen a lot of it before. Occasionally, someone voices their feelings and thoughts during these meetings. Feelings of tiredness, feelings of anger and feelings of deep frustration at what seems to be never changing circumstances, surface every now and then. This past Saturday night, our meeting facilitator asked me to open with prayer for the members of the group in light of all of the turbulence in our line of sight and in our line of emotions. This is the first time this has happened.
I don’t participate on these calls itching to testify to my faith, but when the opportunity presents itself, it is no time to shy away. I prayed for my old friends and classmates, and in doing so shared my confidence that my Lord Jesus is in control despite what we see and feel and that He is fully able to sustain all of us at every level of life’s need. I didn’t pray to give them a palliative (pain killer), but to keep the pain from having power it shouldn’t, that is, the power to control us. I prayed to point us all to the One who overcame the world and the pain, trouble and tribulation so common to it. Doing so was a privilege because we all need to overcome the world rather than have the world overwhelm us, and He is the pathway.
I’m already looking forward to next month’s meeting.
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