Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ebenezer

Nope, not Scrooge. Let me explain.


Back in the saddle again. I haven’t come out of retirement. I just took a long break. It has been tough finding much free time the past four months, especially considering the way life has somewhat turned upside down. But you probably already know that story, but I’m not going there today.

Last Saturday was a great day, though it was largely void of children. Some of you may be wondering, “How could a day without your children be great?” Others (the ones with kids) will say, “I hear ya!” It’s not a loving your children thing, it’s a silence thing. I drove three hours south to my old stomping-ground: Portland. What a beautiful day it was. High 60s. Mostly clear. And a day to see old friends.

For the first time since graduating four plus years ago, I returned to the school that I have held most dear – George Fox Evangelical Seminary. A seminary reunion was the opportunity for my visit. Upon returning to the PNW I had foolishly assumed that I’d be able to jaunt south every month or two to see old friends or take a new class. Because reality stepped in, my dreams disappeared.

In the Old Testament Samuel constructs a stone monument, called an Ebenezer, to thank God for delivering the Israelites from the Philistines. Only because of his intervention was Israel spared in a battle, and actually victorious.

George Fox is my Ebenezer. Talking to professors and walking the halls last weekend was a jolting reminder of God’s faithfulness in my life. It was there that God showed me his work in the lives of people for hundreds of generations. Many memories swarmed my mind and for a brief moment it felt as if time has stood still – I’m still in seminary right? I get to come back tomorrow for another class, to be with friends, to wrestle with Scripture and theology?

As I begun the bittersweet drive home I took a photo of the majestic Fremont Bridge which will forever symbolize God’s work in my life. It’s the city of my Ebenezer. What’s yours?

4 comments:

Melanie said...

I think the city of my Ebenezer is San Luis Obispo; in much part due to your friendship (and others) in my life. God used you among other friends I made at Cal Poly to lead me to Him and I am eternally grateful that I am part of the family of God because of that time I spent in San Luis Obispo. Now my family (husband and 2 girls) venture back to SLO occasionally and I hope one day it will be a special place to them as it has been to me.

Rob Fraser said...

I'd have to concur with you on that. It was fun to watch your faith & story unfold. It's probably another of my Ebenezers as well!

Unknown said...

Rob, welcome back! I missed your posts.

karen said...

Sorry - 'Unknown' is me, Karen Swangler.