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Nov 28 2012

the pastor and the bartender: for every stoplight i didn’t make . . .

Original post at http://pastorandbartender.blogspot.com/2012/11/for-every-stoplight-i-didnt-make.html


My ten-year high school reunion was last Saturday.  I zoomed home to Lawrence from East Tennessee the day after Thanksgiving, dropping off Jeff and Vicki in Nashville and going solo.  The long drive was really nice, actually - a good time to sort out thoughts without having to stop and feed/entertain a strapped-down toddler who naturally feels antsy.

I stayed with our friends Chuck and Leslie, whose wedding I had to miss in September because of a completely asinine mistake on my behalf (I'll tell you about it sometime maybe).  So it was great to see them and catch up, and see how they are doing in Topeka.  By the way, if you're looking for a very cute house in Topeka, they are trying to sell - and the price can't be beat!  Contact me.

The actual reunion was interesting.  The planning committee included one of my good friends Sarah, and another long-time friend Eric.  Also Katie, with whom I spent many long hours in choirs.  I thought they did a fantastic job of promoting the event, organizing and selling tickets, getting the venue ready, and having a good atmosphere.  Everything you would expect from event organizers!

The dynamics were pretty much just like high school.  So, I guess if you had a very fun time then, you probably had a great time at the reunion.  I will disclose that I was always sort of middle-of-the-pack.  Not super-popular, not unheard-of.  I did lots of music and was in advanced classes.  I was not an athlete.  I think I had recreated a version of high school in my mind where the awkwardness and hormones were erased.  Being back in the situation brought it all back - the good and the bad.

I'm second row from bottom, second from left.
I'm not at all sorry that I went!  It was a great time, and I was able to catch up with plenty of folks I would never have seen otherwise.  (And always very entertaining to see the looks when they find out I'm now a pastor!)  Plus, a visit to my hometown is always centering for me.

I was texting with my sister after getting back to Chuck and Leslie's.  She asked how it was, and I told her the same reflections I wrote above.  But then I wrote, "You know it just makes me really glad for the life I have now."

My husband loves Darius Rucker (and all country music, which I think is kind of funny - as well as hard-core hip-hop and rap).  He has a great song that talks about all the choices and opportunities in life that bring us to where we are now:

For every stoplight I didn't make /
Every chance I did or I didn't take /
All the nights I went too far /
All the girls that broke my heart /
Every door that I had to close /
Everything I knew but I didn't know /
Thank God for all I missed . . . 'cause it led me here to this.

If I'd never stepped out to work at a summer camp where I knew no one . . . I would never have met Jeff.  If I'd never applied early for college in New York City . . . I would never have met my best friend Amanda, or have been invited to officiate at her wedding in March.  And if I hadn't decided to come home for the Free State High '02 Reunion . . . I wouldn't have had a chance to reflect on how happy my life is ten years out.

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Emily

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