I woke up this morning and there it was. 11. No, I did not sleep in to the point my body seems to long for. No my speaker is not just one better. I woke up and found myself in November. How did this happen? It still seems like last week, or maybe the week before, when I first brought my boxes to West Lafayette and this magnificent building out here on County Farm Road (or 50N or Salisbury...). I still feel the excitement of being in a new place with new people and new dreams. I am still learning so much about this wonderful St Andrew community and the offerings of the greater Lafayette area. There are so many wonderful people I have met and look forward to getting to know better. I can list so much I want to do, learn about, go and visit, have yet to complete - it is just hard to believe we have all collectively arrived in November.
And yet, as I pause to think about it and begin to look back over the past four months, the perception begins to shift, slowly at first and picks up speed until I can hardly fathom it has only been four months. From worship to lunches to staff meetings to hanging out at ball games to random hugs at random places, our family has been enveloped in the love and presence from this community. It has been great to play softball, share dinners, laugh in the expansive entryway (the Commons), discuss serious matters, cry at funerals, go on VBS adventures, and so much more. Already, my check-ins with family far away involve a regular stopping of the conversation for me to explain who the people are with whom we are spending our time. The amount of wonderful people I have come to know astonishes me. There is so much I have done, learned, experienced, seen - it becomes hard to believe it is only November.
The passage of time has a funny way of doing this to us. Time relates to change, and change allows us to see how the world used to be or how the world could be. Our focus in one direction makes us lament the quick passing, while a look in another brings us to wonder how time seemingly stood still. Our culture today has a less funny way of seemingly taking either of our perspectives and adding undue stress. When we see the way things used to be we are told we can never go back or to distance ourselves from it. When we look at how it could be we are taught to focus on what we lack or how to fear the coming doom. How wonderful it is to be in a community which allows me the best of both. A community built on the love and truth of Jesus. I have a freedom to remember well and incorporate our history bringing meaning to the moment while also yearning for a coming day when we all can live in a transformed world. It is cool to know our God is behind this community. It is cool to know I am in it because anyone can be.
There is an 11 to be reckoned with now. I look forward to waking in the darkness to find the 12 which will replace it, leaving me here at St. Andrew with not enough month on my 11's to-do list and too many memories with new people to believe it has only been a month.
God be with you.
Pastor Joseph Seger