Concordia Lutheran Church
1015 NE Orchard Drive, Pullman, WA 99163
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|From the Pastor's Pen -- May 2013
"There's no THERE, THERE." Let me explain. When May comes on the Palouse, I think "graduation." As our WSU and U of I soon-to-be-graduates prepare for this monumental day in their lives, many people will be giving them advice on what is next. I thought I would join this parade of prognosticators with a few pieces of wisdom I've received since I graduated from Concordia College over four decades ago.
The first piece of wisdom comes from Gertrude Stein who said,
BUT THERE'S NO THERE. Remember this, you are THERE now.
Most of us have heard or even said, "Life is short." But actually, life might go on for a long time, so you'd better become good at something. In just a few years, some of you reading this will go to your ten year high school reunion. It's coming sooner than you think. Something to think about: not everyone will make it. I don't mean their car will break down. I mean they will not be alive. At my ten year reunion, one person out of a class of sixteen had already died--in the Vietnam War. Since then, no one has passed away but we all know, as they say in the NFL draft, "we're on the clock." But we're all still living life.
At the same time, I think it's important to heed the advice of Basketball Coach John Wooden. One of his many quotes is this, "LIVE as though you'll die tomorrow...LEARN as though you'll live forever." Coach Wooden is famous for starting the first day of practice teaching the team...what? HOW to tie their basketball shoes. Fundamentals...attention to detail...tie your Nike's like you mean it!!! Coach Wooden did not watch game films of other teams. He paid attention to HIS craft, the fundamentals of HIS team...and he filled the shelf with championship trophies.
Here's another Wooden quote (actually a Jesus quote), one he wrote on the picture he gave to every player who graduated from UCLA -- a picture of Wooden standing alongside his pupil, "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" Mark 8:35-36
As I think of this year's class of graduates, I think CLASS. I see men and women with "faith beyond their years, kind hearts, good attitudes, solid thinkers, loving hearts, faithful followers of the Lord and people who have their priorities pretty well in order. I'm glad to have been a part of their lives and am grateful to God for bringing all of us together in this place, at this time.