Saturday, January 30, 2010

Midwinter Reflections

The Midwinter Conference has been a fixed event in my life before I was a pastor. My dad was a regular attendee and would offer me free lodging with him and his roommate whenever I could attend in Chicago. Now I've been going for 30 years pretty regularly. The conference has changed in size, venue and musical style over the decades, as it should.
A friend and colleague, John Notehelfer wrote some thoughts down about his experience this year that struck me profoundly. I asked his permission to cut and paste them here and he gave it to me. Here they are:


Experiencing “Midwinter” in Colorado

“Midwinter” – my season in life and ministry

Feeling strangely alone in a crowd.

Colleagues who mentored me - many not here,

Some gone to be with the Lord.

Colleagues I mentored –

Too busy to hang around – to connect.

Strange emotions, having passed the baton

To those who now lead

Why in ministry acquaintances are so many

Lasting friendships so few?

Wondering if relationships are only “useful”

While truly needed;

Forgotten and passed over

Once tasks and calling no longer serve as the glue.

What lingers as I am flying home…….

I am now becoming part of that cloud of witnesses

Watching others run their lap;

Truly in awe of what I have seen the Lord doing

In and through the ECC over the 50 years I have now served.

Rejoicing in spite of my strange aloneness

To be part of the organic, living BODY of Christ;

Always picking up and responding to the promptings of the HEAD;

Realizing anew that the cells in any body constantly replace each other

For the body to stay vibrantly alive and renewed in health.

“Midwinter” always precedes “Spring time resurrections” —

Generations give way… to the next …and the next.

Aging means a lot of letting go,

Being once more eternally thankful – and “Yes” –

Experiencing anew that in Christ I am really never, ever alone….

You, I, all of us – never alone in the crowd!! Yes!! Yes!!


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