Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Spirit is in the Circumstance...

"I don't believe that heaven waits for only those who congregate. I'd like to think of God as love. He's down below, He's up above. He's watching people everywhere. He knows who does and doesn't care. And I'm an ordinary man. Sometimes I wonder who I am. But I believe in love. I believe in music. I believe in magic. And I believe in you."

Don Williams, "I believe in You."


On Friday the sun was shining. Saturday morning, overcast. Saturday afternoon brought a steady mist that eventually morphed into an equally steady rain that gave way, once again, to a heavier steady mist later at night. Overcast today, as well, until evening came and the clouds parted. And, most importantly, that cool breeze I've been preaching for weeks drove into Waco this weekend like a big ol' Truck-O-Joy. Not jump out of your chair and run around the room yelling "Elvis Lives!" with your hands flailing about type of joy, mind you. But, rather, sit in your favorite chair with your favorite people drinking your favorite drink listening to your favorite album type of joy.

Thinking I'd be driving to East Texas this weekend I went ahead and took a vacation day on Friday. Travel plans changed, but my three day weekend plans didn't. I spent Friday morning hanging shelves in the church nursery, writing a thing for Sunday morning, and meeting up with Harris and Val for lunch at Camille's, the new sidewalk cafe' in the Central Texas Marketplace. While waiting for them I spent a long time on the phone with my prodigal friend Jason Fortenberry.

The afternoon had me driving out to Hewitt to watch the kids while Jen went grocery shopping. (Have I ever told you about those kids?) Avery kept trying to scam me out of some candy, Sutton was jumping off of everything that he could climb on, and Jude informed me that he is, in fact, Buzz Lightyear.

My good friend Robert came in from Atlanta (TX) Friday evening. I hadn't seen him since the wedding and I was extremely excited. He, Jason, and I went to see Friday Night Lights (after eating at Chile's with Daniel) and the movie was every bit as good as the book, even though it chose to focus on a narrower scope of themes.

There could not have possibly been a more perfect day than Saturday, the day I spent with about ten of my closest friends in the world. After a long morning of cooking breakfast for Jason and Christy, Daniel, Robert, and Blake and Karla (who drove up from San Marcos), we all headed out to Woodway to watch Avery's soccer game and to keep our eyes on Sutton and Buzz Lightyear. The guys then headed out to Cameron park for a couple of games of football that was separated by at least thirty minutes of rule making and halted by the steady mist I mentioned earlier, while the girls hung out at Starbucks on campus to study and read.

The next few hours had us eating lunch at Chili's, playing dodgeball at First Baptist, and waving at a plane that was flying low which was quickly identified by my eyes as Air Force One.

By this time it was getting dark. With Robert and Blake driving around talking, Daniel at home, and Karla still studying, Jason and Christy and I took advantage of the rain-at-sunset-on-a-cool-October-evening vibe that suggested one thing and one thing only... a nap.

After saying bye to Blake and Karla, who had to get back in order to rest up for a run this morning, we headed to Gatti's then back home where the evening waned and we all ended up asleep in our respected places. I woke up and watched First Touch on television where Jason (who matters more to me than he could possible know) threw down in his sermon. After that I bid farewell to Robert, headed to church, had Sunday School, participated in our alternative service where I read the little piece I had written. Today has been spent at home watching football and napping.

My guess is that if you have made it this far in the post you are probably one of the people mentioned in it. For who else would want to read about my weekend, no matter how awesome it was?

I write all this not to tell you how the days have been, nor to empty my mind of facts. I write this, to echo the author of 1 John, to make my joy complete. My spiritual development, throughout my life, is stunted when I try to zero in on "where I am with God" and tweak this and readjust that, but grows exponentially when I recognize the cumulative effects of sitting around telling stories and random hugs and communion with my church family and naps in the vicinity of friends and meals and thinking about God with a non-analytical agenda and spending a Sunday afternoon in solitude reflecting on the rest He brings.

Wish I had something better to tell. But this is all I have.

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