This Week at Trinity Beamsville
Friday October 5, 2018
A brief tangent: I am trying to make a point of not writing too much more about “being new.” This week I have introduced myself as the “new student minister” and thought afterward: when am I going to be not new? I thought about talking to former classmates and asking them when they knew they were new and when the knew they were not new, but I’m thinking more and more that I am the one applying that label and I have to decide when it is time.
But because of these thoughts, this week I’ve been thinking a bit about what it means to find your place somewhere. When I was in middle school we had a field trip where we were divided into teams of two and had to do a scavenger hunt, finding marked places on a map in a little area of forest and fields. My partner and I were doing really well (there may have been a prize for the first group to find all of the places and make it back? I don’t know, this was a while ago) but there was one in particular we just couldn’t seem to find. We were standing where two chain link fences met, surrounded by trees, looking around anxiously for anything that looked like it could be a marker. Sometimes when you look at a map and look back up at the world the two seem to line up and you can go to wherever you need to be. For us, we were standing exactly where the map indicated we needed to be, but there was no flag in sight.
When I think about the different life journeys that people embark on, it seems inevitable that we get lost. Once in a while we are going to find ourselves in an unfamiliar place, maybe somewhere we didn’t expect, maybe somewhere that seems dangerous. And in that moment, maybe it is hard to see where you are supposed to go, and how you are supposed to get there. Even if you know what you should do, that doesn’t always work out.
This moment of standing in the forest basically encapsulated that phase in my adolescent life: a little lost, but not quite sure why or what to do to fix it. But I was not alone in that moment. We were in the same situation, not necessarily changing each other’s life, but walking the difficulty of that moment together. Even though he couldn’t fix things for me, it was nice not to have to go through it alone. We could talk through the problem, voice our frustration, and even cause a welcome distraction from focusing too intently on the problem.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you can get to where you are going. These days the political/social/environmental spheres can seem pretty dark. But it helps if you can reach out and find a voice of consolation while you work on getting a new direction. Maybe that person is family, or a friend. It may be God’s voice, appearing in a big or a small way. It may be someone that you have not met before that becomes your biggest ally.
It may turn out we are not lost at all, we just don’t know what this journey is yet. I have been filled with hope by my experiences so far here in Beamsville. I know where I am (I did miss a turn driving on the mountain last week, but I’m getting there) and if I come up against a corner of a fence with no flag again, this is a place I know will help me to find it.
P.S. The flag was on the other side of the trees. We did finish first.