A Pastoral Word
In a little over a week, Mike and I will be traveling to White Lake, NC to support my sister in her first triathlon. Laura has always been the athletic one in the family while I gratefully support her from the sidelines. It is not a pretty picture when I start running!
While you may be thinking, that is really nice that I am going to go support my sister. I do have ulterior motives. I am hoping to go back and reclaim part of my childhood. While growing up, my family would travel to White Lake for our family vacations. We would always go with another family every year. Their daughters were like sisters to us growing up. Every year it was the same. Dad would get the sailboat ready. Mr. T would get the motorboat ready. They made sure that there were always plenty of life-jackets. They made sure that we had the water-skis. They made sure that we had the “tube” that would get pulled behind the boat, while the person inside the “tube” held on for dear life and had the best time of their life.
We would always go the same week. We would always get the same cabin, The Murray’s, who were members of my home church. We never missed a week.
The families would take turns making meals and doing dishes. The girls would play in the water from sunrise until sunset. Our parents had to practically pull us out of the water to come in and eat our meals or when it began getting dark each night.
If it rained, there were card games to be played or trips into town. One year, I remember, the Tebows getting a new video camera and bringing it to the lake. Needless to say, all of girls are very thankful that the men we married didn’t get to see the embarrassing videos before the weddings that we took that year of us singing and dancing.
These were some of the best times of my childhood that I can remember. What I remember most are the times that we gathered around the table to eat our meals and the closeness that I felt with these people who I hold so dear. I remember the year my dad flipped his sailboat and lost his class ring. All of us girls threw on our swimming masks and tried our hardest to find the lost ring, but no such luck. I remember the year that Tracy took stick sunscreen and wrote the word “Hey” and a smiley face on her leg, not realizing that we would be out on the boat all after noon. So when we came in off the boat, Tracy had a nice message on her leg, the word “Hey” outlined in sunburn.
And as all good things, our yearly trips came to an end. I guess, we all know it would the year the oldest daughter started college but our families tried to keep it going. Trying to find a week together with the two families kept getting harder and harder between marching band practices, summer camps, mission trips, and working to have some money for college.
And then one summer, it didn’t work out that we could get together for our family vacation. All the girls had graduated from high school and were in college or starting college. That summer, we didn't go to White Lake. Time continued marching on. The days of our mutual family vacations were relegated to the past as we all became busy with our own individual lives.
So when Laura said that she was running in the annual triathlon at White Lake, Mom thought it would be a great way to squeeze in a family vacation. We decided that this trip could be a time of remembrance of past family vacations and a time to make new memories with our new family members.
I know that I can never go back to those days but I can still hold onto the memories of happiness and fun.
As we look to begin a new church year in just a few months, I know that many of us are feeling the same way about our lives and our church. We have so many wonderful memories and now we can look to the new year with hope and appreciate the new possibilities for Midway Christian Church.
So as we come together as a church family, we know that God is always there leading us and guiding us.
P. S. I’ll let you know if I can still race down to the water and jump off the dock!