Monday, April 11, 2011

WOO HOO, What a Ride!

'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body,but rather to skid in sideways -Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other -body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and...screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'  -author unknown

This is one of my all-time favourite quotes!

And for me, the ride has taken me to and now THROUGH the Parish Ministry Training Program for the Southwestern Texas Synod of the ELCA.

It's official. We (meaning me, Don, Kim, Mike, Everitt and Larry) are finished ..with the studying part, that is.

Next month we all have exit interviews with the director of the program and company, then another interview with the Bishop.

I have spent the past 3 years with these guys..and now? Our adventure really begins!

And so I enjoy this time. This time in-between what was and what is to come.  I came home from class Sat. night to 12 teens/young adults. playing Settlers and various other games whose names have escaped me. They were here to celebrate Cody's birthday. Making pizzas, listening to the coffee house station and just laughing, talking and catching up with each others lives. Nice.

Brian and Angee came down from Austin. And the dreaded boy came out of solitude for the evening. (He is now back in the woods, so to speak. Not to be picked up until Easter) We had the whole gang home. 'Twas very nice.

Then Sunday morning found me back at the prison. Some of the men-in-white offered to treat me to lunch. Alas, the  volunteers and one of the guards had beat them to the punch. I celebrated with my partners in crime over some-sort of hamburger, potato lunch in the cafeteria.

  A few hours later, I find myself with 39+ men in a classroom. We are short volunteers so drama and English choir share a room. The men are all trying to learn to sing and play a particular song.

  An hour later we are all still here. There is laughter. There is prayer. There is a lot of reshuffling of chairs as everyone tries to squeeze between the instruments while someone brings in a fan to get some ventilation in the room.

I sit along a wall between two of these men. One is the writer of the play. The other one of the choir members.Surrounding us are members of the drama team. We discuss the importance of using the gifts that we are given. And I am challenged to use my own gifts, as well.

There is a fiddle part to be learned. I am encouraged to help one gentleman, in particular, learn this. We agree to hammer out the tricky parts next week.

I watch the sun pour through the bars of the windows, surrounded by the voices of these men as they sing.. Each and every man in that room has memorized this song. And now they have joined together to sing in unison Set Me Free  by Casting Crowns.

And as I listen,

I know.

I know I am right where I am supposed to be. The rest of the journey is still untold but

WOO HOO, What a Ride!

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