|Ruby Voigt (1987)|
Saturday, February 25, 2012
"I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion."
2 Timothy 1:4 (MSG)
This fall, I will return again.
Twenty five years ago, I left with much hope for a brilliant but unknown future ahead. I said good-bye to people I had lived with, played with, fought with and studied with.
Fifteen years ago, I returned. I saw those same people again. Ten years had past and the faces had matured. Some had gained families. Some had experienced life in a way they never would have dreamed of when they were students.
This fall I will return to the Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute in Outlook, Saskatchewan for a reunion with my graduating classmates from 1987. Twenty-five years has passed since we sat in the classrooms of Old Main, ate our meals in the school cafeteria and wandered the hills beside the South Saskatchewan River. Twenty-five years seems like a lifetime and a half. And I ask myself the age old question. "Where did the time go?"
Before returning for the ten year homecoming in 1997, I published a top ten list in L.C.B.I.'s newsletter (The Beacon). There were ten reasons why I wanted to come back for Homecoming in 1997. I don't have such a list this time, but I have been contemplating the reason or reasons for making the pilgrimage back to Outlook. There isn't a list of reasons this time, but there is a list of questions.
1. What do I expect to see when I return?
2. What do I want to know when I get there?
3. Who do I want to meet with?
4. Who do I want to bring with me?
5. How am I going to spend my time once I am there?
6. What is Sunday morning going to look like?
7. How are my attitudes going to affect my experience and the experience of others?
8. How do I deal with disappointment if it comes?
9. How truthful do I get with people who haven't seen me in years?
10. What is my purpose for going or do I even need a purpose?
Some of my classmates upon reading this list may conclude that I am overanalyzing the whole trip.
"Just come and have a good weekend! "
"Let's get together and laugh about old times."
This year, I have been challenged with the purpose of going back. When I was nineteen and saying good-bye to my home of three years, I didn't ponder purpose. Now I am forty-three and pondering purpose.
I have connected with a few of my classmates via Facebook in the last year. Other than that, I haven't had much contact with the other forty some people in my grad class in the last few years. Maybe I am worried. In some ways, I am the same girl I was in 1987, in some ways, I am very different. I have different ideals now than the ones I was raised with.
This last fall I went to another reunion. My family gathered together to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary. I was excited to be there. I was thrilled to gather with aunts and uncles and cousins and exchange thoughts and laughs. I don't have much contact with my extended family except the odd visit and Facebook. But for a weekend, we all gathered together and for no other purpose than being together as a family and celebrating the years together.
I guess I can return to Outlook without the "over-analysis". I can go back and just enjoy seeing people and share thoughts and laughter. I will bring my camera and see what gemstones I can take home with me, both in photography and in memories.
"When you see them coming, you'll smile - big smiles! Your heart will swell and , yes, burst! All those people returning by sea for the reunion..."
Isaiah 60:5 (MSG)