One week from tomorrow Monica and I will be attending a 50th anniversary reunion.  In many ways it is hard to believe that it is already 50 years since I graduated from Concordia Junior College, Ann Arbor (now Concordia University).  Then again, in other ways it seems like a few lifetimes ago.  It will be interesting to see who shows up, and who we remember.  Though it is a two-day affair, we decided that one evening was sufficient time for all the catching up we would be interested in.
Part of the good news is that my old roommate (and the best man at our wedding) will be flying up from Slidell, LA to spend the weekend with us.  Unfortunately, his wife has a family commitment down south and will not be coming.  He is one of those friends that we see once every five years (at the most), but each time the conversation picks up like it was yesterday.  We are excited about catching up with “Ah, Clem” (or is it Barney?) … whose name actually is Rod.
And the following Monday we will be lunching with two other former classmates who live in the Twin Cities.  They cannot make the reunion but will be in mid-Michigan for a family event.  I am sure we have not seen them since before the pandemic.  Oh, so much catching up to do!
This week I also have been catching up on some reading … theological journals, in particular.  Of the two Concordia Theological Quarterlies (Fort Wayne) from 2023 I found one article interesting – “Creation Accommodated to Evolution: Hermann Sasse on Genesis 1-3”, but not worth keeping. However, the entire Fall 2020 issue of the Concordia Journal (St. Louis) was worth keeping (If someone is interested in borrowing it, please let me know).  The three articles in particular that got my attention were “Beyond Facebook Love: Luther’s Two Kinds of Love and the Immigrant Other” … “Darkness Long in Coming: Christians and the Language of Politics in the Dark” … “Anatomy of a Sermon:  A Sermon on Mark 8.27-35.”  I hope the three most recent issues will prove to be just as worthwhile whenever I get to them.
The question is, “How do we ever get so far behind?”  Part of our problem is that we have friends and family members scattered all across the country.  We are looking for a time to visit my brother in Wisconsin and have discovered that we have at least 3 friends in the southern part of the state we would like to visit on the way.  This afternoon Joel and I leave on our annual Minor-League Baseball trip and will start with a major league game in Wrigley Field (spending the night in Wrigleyville) … and likely not see the +5 people we know living in that area (by the way, we will complete our trip by visiting the Gary Rail Cats and the South Bend Cubs … while also spending a night with our niece and her husband).  I think the other parts of the “problem” include new opportunities/situations, forgetfulness, and the paradox of life getting faster while we are getting slower.
A few other tidbits of good news.  We recently had a great catchup opportunity with a variety of friends we have been missing … and another to host a Godson who spent the night. Additionally, I have finally sorted through all of the office things I moved home and am comfortably set up in the basement.
My stock answer when people ask me if I am enjoying retirement (when I am being serious) is, “Yes, very much … I don’t miss the grind or the responsibility or the workload, but I do miss the people.”  We have been able to visit with many at funeral visitations, COSTCO, etc. … which, of course, oftentimes is bittersweet.  This past week I did some catching up by sending some notes out to some visitations we missed.  I guess the nature of the beast is that whenever we are catching up in one area we are bound to be falling behind in another!
Isn’t it good to know that our God and Savior never gets behind in his attention to us and our lives … in spite of what we may think or feel at times, he is an ever-present help … and not only in trouble.  Yes, I know there are many times we fall behind in our relationship with him and need to put in the time and effort for catching up … but that does not mean that he is separated from us or needing to be catching up.  The words from one of my favorite Song of Ascents remain true at all times and in all circumstances:  “I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.  The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 121)
If you need to do some catching up with him, I urge you to make it a high priority … even as I am going to cut this note short because, while writing it, I have remembered a few other place that need my catching up!

Catching Up