Summertime is the time for picnics, loads of outdoor activities… and reunions! I just had mine– 40th– YIKES! I truly never thought about getting this old. But that is for another post. I was asked by a former class president if I would speak at ours, since it was an honor year for us. I honestly didn’t know if I was supposed to pray for the grub or “wax and elephant” before this crowd of 200 or so. With some degree of nervousness (hey- you don’t know some of the stunts i pulled in high school!) I accepted. It went something like this.
Hello everyone. I’m Chuck Eddy. I graduated from Portville Central in 1971. They even had me back there to teach for a few years. When Val asked me to say a few words today I really didn’t know if I was supposed to pray for the grub or speak on some short topic. I guess if there was going to be a theme on my little part, it would have to be “School- Spirit.”
Since one of the hats I have worn is that of ordained minister, please bear with me for some of this. The Bible says in the bookof Psalms..’All the days ordained for me were written in your book– before one of them came to be.’ In Jeremiah we are told..’ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.’
That tells me that we were created…. that an intelligent being formed us. And you do not create something without a purpose. And –that our ways were, and are, known.
You know what? I believe that we are all predestined. I believe that we were pre-ordained as to what set of parents we were born to, the school we all went to, and many of our life paths. It was not by accident that we all were connected to each other and this school.
Please understand that when I say pedestined– it in no way diminishes our gift of free will… freedom of choice.. and even freedom to reap consequences of some of those choices. If any of you know me you may have heard me refer to our time here on earth as “Soul School.” I recently came across a quote that I want to pass on to you. I think it is powerful and you may enjoy it. It said.. “We are not really human beings ..here on a spiritual journey– We are really spiritual beings.. here on a human journey.”
This ‘Soul School’ we are in is much like the school we all knew many years ago. We would often pass each other in the hall or maybe meet in the cafeteria, where we would catch up on activities or things of interest like boyfriends and girlfriends, sports, teachers , etc. Then we would go on our way to our different classes and subjets. Life has been like that. The last time I remember meeting in this ‘cafeteria’ type setting was ten years ago at Spragues resturant. It was great to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in years… renew old friendships.. and maybe befriend someone I had treated like a jerk years ago. We again passed in the halls – so to speak.
We each have taken many different courses in this ‘Soul School.’ We have had subjects like holding our first child and the wonderment of new birth.. courses in love and marriage. Some have had subjects like divorce and custody battles…Some– courses in cancer, surgeries, maybe dealing with elderly parents. Some have outlived their own child.
When Val asked me to speak, she did ask that I make mention of those classmates that have passed away. I will address that and also have something to say to the class of 2011 who is here today, as well as you listening. The Bible tells us.. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say- I find no pleasure in them.” It tells us.. “Remember Him – before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken— and the spirit returns to God who made it.” In Isaiah we read.. “Even to your old age and grey hair… I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you.”
It is true that there are several from our class who are not living. They are not here and we miss them. When we hear of the death of a classmate it is like…”Wow– I knew that person.” It reminds us how brief life is.. how fragile.. how final death is.
I’m sure that we each know of someone who has passed. I also would suggest that there may be some of our classmates who have stopped living years ago. We may still ‘pass them in the hallways of life.’ They may recount old memories and times past — but they have stopped living… stopped hoping.. stopped embracing new subjects and the courses we must take.
I want to challenge and encourage each of us– this world is not our home.. We are spirtual…. Soul School is brief. Keep living!!