Monday, July 19, 2010
Marinell and I enjoyed a remarkable weekend with friends and family. The occasion was a reunion of the youth choir at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA; the church I grew up in and where my parents are still members and my father is a deacon. The youth choir was called the "Chapel Choir" and included about a hundred high school students. The reunion group spanned a period of about 20 years. Sincere thanks go to all who helped organize the reunion.
Like most reunions, we approached this one with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. This group included some of the people we were closest to in our teenage years as well as many whom we had never met because they came either before or after us. It had been thirty or thirty five years since we had seen most of these old friends. The weekend included a number of social events along with several hours of choir practice in preparation for singing at two worship services on Sunday morning. It was fun to visit and see the different directions everyone had gone and how adulthood had actually caught up with all of us. We realized that, in addition to me and Marinell, several other married couples had been brought together during those years. We even had the opportunity to stand in the church chapel where we were married thirty six years-a-ago (as of August 9th), and have our picture made again.
We were also blessed to have our choir director, Jim Castle, return to lead us again. As kids, Mr. Castle was a commanding figure who had the ability to control a room full of teenagers and actually produce incredible music. At least where the boys were concerned, it would be something like trying to teach a herd of hogs to sing. Mr. Castle was more like a football coach that demanded promptness and discipline, and who also consistently produced a winning team. He taught us how to do more than we ever thought we could. As we grow older many of us have come to see more and more what our parents did for us, even though we couldn't see it at the time. What aggravated us at the time (because we thought they were being too hard or unreasonable), we now see was for our good and was necessary for our progress. Mr. Castle was not unlike our parents in this regard. Thank you Mr. Castle; God used you in our lives and is still using those lessons to form us into His image.
Like so many other things in our lives that we cannot see or appreciate at the time, the Chapel Choir of Broadmoor Baptist Church was clearly an instrument of God in our lives. Relationships and memories were made that prepared us for so many other opportunities that would come our way. To reunite with so many who not only still love the Lord, but who also are still serving Him in a variety of ways, gave fresh perspective to what God has done in the past and how He did it. It also brought perspective to what we are doing now and why it's important. We often can't see at the moment how our labor and ministry in our churches and families are impacting the lives of our children and others. Faith and obedience form character little-by-little over a long period of time. Thankfully, God frequently gives us a glimpse of what He is doing, yet much remains unseen.
Thank you Broadmoor Baptist Church for a faithful ministry that has spanned generations. Thanks to the pastors and teachers and choir directors and parents and friends. Thanks for all who gave and served and labored and prayed. Thanks for all that we saw you do and for all the unseen sacrifices. What you put in the river upstream continues to flow downstream. May the Lord bless you!