This year we are practicing “The Year of Gratitude” at St. Luke’s. We have been encouraging everyone to write one thank you note each day to someone. In a time where so much can seem wrong and negative, saying “thank you” may seem to be an insignificant act. Yet, it is something that is needed to encourage those who are making a difference to continue in the same way. Today there are people who think that what they do doesn’t matter.
Today I am thinking of our current president and his departure from office for a new person to step in.
It’s the beginning of a brand new year. That means getting used to writing “2017” when it feels like I just became accustomed to “2016”. It means talk about resolutions, a new annual theme for our church, and thoughts toward upcoming sermon series. Perhaps best of all, it means a new start. We’ve been given the gift of a clean slate. Whatever 2016 meant to us with its ups and downs, 2017 has yet to be written. The script will be accomplished through a combination of circumstances and our reactions to them as well as our intentional actions apart from anything the world may throw our way.
It is Wednesday. The day after what seems to have been one of the hardest, most painful elections that anyone can remember. If you look at the numbers that continue to pour in, the country is evenly divided on the choice for president. It is almost scary how close the split is – currently I am looking at 47.7% of the votes for one and 47.5% of the votes for the other. But that has less impact on the candidates than it does for all of us. It means that in our daily lives, all of the people we encounter are people who were evenly split on who was best to lead our country. Basically, half the country woke up excited and half saddened.
Tonight will be a moment of history. The two teams facing each other in tonight’s world series have not won a World Series in many years. Excluding the eight teams that have never won a World Series title (and all of these teams were franchises created after the Indian’s last championship) the two current longest droughts since a world series championship are the Chicago Cubs at 108 years and the Cleveland Indians at 68 years. One of those streaks will end tonight.
One of my favorite events of the year is here! On the Wednesday evening before Halloween, our organist and choirmaster, Robert Fasol, puts on a scary organ concert. He takes some fun “not-so-scary” tunes and plays them on the organ. Together with the video and special lighting talents of the Communications Team, it is a memorable evening!
El Sistema is an orchestra that takes children from some of our inner city schools, matches them with an instrument based on their talents and desires, teaches them how to play their instrument, and then gives them their own instrument to keep. But truly, El Sistema is about so much more than just training these children and youth to become musicians. El Sistema is about giving them opportunities and helping them to see the impact they can have in the world.
When I drove my son to cross country practice early this morning, I noticed my “low tire” light. I came home to finish getting ready for work and once there, got the portable air compressor out of the trunk. Now my husband would have been glad to air up my tire for me, but to be honest, I kind of enjoy doing basic car maintenance. Let me clarify – I enjoy only the most basic of car maintenance: washing my car, putting gas in my car, refilling the washer wiper fluid, airing up the tires…yep, that’s it. But that tiny little venture into car repair is fun for me.
I was very sad to hear the news of the death of Arnold Palmer earlier this week. He was an incredible golfer and an even more incredible human being. His greatest rival was Jack Nicklaus.
Today is the International Day of Peace. It is a day to commit ourselves to establishing peace here and around the world. But today I reflect on just how distant peace seems to be at this moment. In the past week there have been bombings and stabbings. There have been the videos that show police-involved shootings of African Americans. News agencies reported of how a nine year old child was so bullied at school that he took his own life.