gentry13

thinking thruway

In Uncategorized on July 12, 2010 at 2:18 am

this weekend i played the college student and drove to rochester and back for callid and kristina’s housewarming party. before i delint the button, i must say that they threw the best 11 hour barbeque i’ve been to in a long time. diverse assortment of intriguing people, bourbon soaked peaches, jarring stories about jaws and shovels. what’s not to love?

anyway, as i wound my way home this morning i stopped at one of the thruway’s fantastic rest stops – starbucks, ben & jerry’s, discount sunglasses and tim horton’s…mmmm – and i started thinking about the first time i visited the region. at that time i was nineteen, a sophmore among freshmen at soybean bible college and on my way to a week of evangelism experience in dark, despairing, unregenerate new england. i had no clear sense of my vocation at the time, but i felt more and more comfortable with myself the farther north and east we went. that was enough at the time.

that trip was fourteen short years ago. on that week of evangelism i failed to win a single soul, but i was converted to the idea of living and serving in new england. in the years since a lot has happened. people who lived off that very same thruway that i thought would be lifelong friends have fallen by the wayside. my connection to the tradition that thought it had, and sometimes does, so much to offer new england is frayed on its best days. my vocation sometimes feels like an apparently destructive, ultimately redemptive “mission from God,” but on other days i am damned lucky to be an unbelieving believer.

fortunately, the excitement that i felt fourteen years ago as we drove north and east has not abated. as i left the rest stop after dropping a deuce, i was as i am now, incredibly thankful for: the friends i’ve found upon the journey like the keefe-perrys; the three churches in new england who have, to varying degrees, welcomed my ministry and treated me far better than i deserve; the God who created me, given me his Spirit and is teaching me to persevere in the grace, mercy and truth of Jesus.

maybe a trip down the thruway is worth $12.05 after all.

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  1. I enjoyed this read, Jeff. Picturesque and thought-provoking.

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