Almost Thanksgiving from Coffeyville,, Kansas! I came here this morning with Dave and Sally. Starting this evening, Sally's family will gather at the home of Paul and Trudy, Sally's brother and sister-in-law. They always graciously take me in. I am particularly excited about seeing my nephews and their wives and great nephews and great niece. They are growing up so quickly!
The first three days of my visit I stayed with Scott and Karen and their family. (They left this morning for Iowa to see Karen's kinfolk.) On Monday and Tuesday, I went to Wichita Collegiate where Dave and Scott both teach. Karen also works at Collegiate as the registrar. Yesterday, Karen invited me to eat lunch with her in the cafeteria as they were having the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Both Collegiate and Westbury Christian use SAGE Dining, a catering service which exclusively works with private schools. (Our SAGE manager, Jay, told me to take notes!) It was a wonderful meal as I knew it would be. I really enjoyed spending time with Karen in her world and I also am fascinated by seeing how other schools operate. But that was not the only reason I found the time memorable.
After we ate, we walked over to the kitchen area and spent ten minutes with the SAGE manager, Randy. This wasn't a coincidence. Randy is from my home town in Nebraska; in fact, I started school with his older brother. We are FACEBOOK friends; still, I cannot recall with certainty ever meeting Randy in the actual world. But as we talked, I found it fascinating how we viewed the same small town and many of the same folks from a different perspective. We spoke of people I knew whose siblings were Randy's friends. I shared some information about a situation which shed some light for him. He told me that he remembered me playing high school basketball because he came with his brother who filmed all of our games. (You might want to read last night's entry in relation to these films, several of which are now in my possession.) And as Karen and I returned to her office, I found myself with a brand new respect, both professionally and socially, for a man I only knew from a few FACEBOOK posts.
Last week, all five of my classes tested over material called Background of the Gospels. We speak of how the story of Jesus was written by four men who came to the telling from different backgrounds and were addressing different issues to different audiences at different times. Even through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the author apostles would have had non-identical angles on what they saw and heard. The four books were penned at four different times, with John coming significantly later than Matthew, Mark, or Luke. Mark and Luke would have had different sources for their narrative. I illustrate this by asking the kids what would happen if I had four of them to write down their thoughts on the same chapel service in which they all participated. Their accounts might be much different but at the same time, accurate. When you put the four chronicles together, you have an overarching view of the life on earth of the Savior. And that's what I gleaned from talking to Randy. I have a fresher insight into my life decades ago in a place called York, Nebraska even though what I heard was not-earth shattering. Maybe my memories are just a little clearer today. Perhaps the road to and from my childhood which I have traveled on frequently has a few less detours for me to navigate. Maybe I'll gain some insight into the Jesus I teach for one hundred eighty days per year. And one more thing: the turkey was awesome!
Applicable quote of the day:
"If one tries to think about history, it seems to me - it's like looking at a range of mountains. And the first time you see them, they look one way. But then time changes, the pattern of light shifts. Maybe you've moved slightly, your perspective has changed. The mountains are the same, but they look very different."
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