Monday, December 15, 2008

In need of a writing spot

Some of the great writers/thinkers I know have a physical location that aids them in their writing/thinking.  For some of them, they have several locations.

I do not have one of these locations that I've designated my writing spot.  Sometimes, it's my bedroom.  Sometimes my office.  Sometimes a sports bar.

Obviously, the creative process can happen at any time and any place.  But there does seem to be about your current surroundings that make a difference.

Speaking of creative, I'm meeting with a sister in ministry tomorrow to vision on how I can be a better worship leader.

Other random thoughts:
  • I decided to bust out the scarves that my mom has bought for me through the years.  Pretty sweet, not gonna lie.
  • One of the blessings of ministry is getting to welcome home youth group kids from college, especially around Christmas time.
  • Getting body work done on the car this week, so I'm cruising around in a Pontiac G6.  Not a bad ride.
  • The Utah snowboarding trip is this week.  Oh Lord, please let my body survive.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Avenida Magdalena

I’ve driven the 5 freeway from San Diego to Los Angeles for a significant portion of my adult life. And while there have been many reasons over the years for my northbound adventures, my final destination was not so much about a city or a building, but about home.

Yesterday, as I drove up the I-5 through San Clemente, I noticed a sign that I’ve driven by during those many many journeys: Avendia Magdalena, 1/4 mile.

Normally, I would not think twice about this sign, as it looks the same as every other sign on the freeway.

But, Magdalena is the name of my beloved grandmother, who died on Nov. 30.

And I drove by the sign on my way to the airport, to get on a plane to attend her funeral in her home, Cebu.

This moment of awareness of this sign was both sad and joyful.

Sad because it was a reminder of the purpose of this journey. And joyful because it was a reminder of the final destination of this journey.

There is that cliche, “Home is where the heart is”. I think of home whenever I think of my grandmother, whether it was at her house in the Philippines or going to church or a fast-food restaurant or a beach resort or a shopping center.

Throughout my entire life, she taught me to value something greater than myself: God and family. And family, with all it’s imperfections, is a place where two of God’s gifts reside: love and mercy. She gave both generously. I’m sure she made sacrifices for my good that I will never know about. She expected that God and family were first in my heart, even to the point of demanding it.

I am who I am today because she defined home in all it’s beauty and all it’s responsibility.

I will be arriving at her house shortly. I will see pictures of her. I will feel her presence. I will remember her in the family and friends that are gathering to celebrate her life. But she won’t be there to greet me, as she did every time I came to visit her. And, while there is sadness in this realization, there is also hope.

While it might seem like my idea of home should be different without her, there is something strangely familiar and comforting. And that’s probably because now, she’s directing me to a different home, heaven, waiting to greet me there.