Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving, or Pre-Advent

I was reading the online Divine Hours yesterday and part of the prayers included the old Thanksgiving hymn, Come Ye Thankful People Come.

I was struck by the familiarity of the words, even though I haven't sung that hymn for years. It was a Thanksgiving Day tradition at the church I grew up in. But reading the words, with no music, I suddenly SAW the words. Isn't funny how you can sing words over and over and not really comprehend their meaning?

For the first time I realized that the song begins as a thankful prayer about harvest, and goes on to talk about the great harvest at the end of the age, when God sends his angels to sift out the wheat from the tares.

It was the greatest revelation I've had since last Christmas when I first learned that in Advent season we not only remember and celebrate Christ's first Advent, but we remind and ready ourselves for his Second Advent.

This Thanksgiving hymn is also sort of an Advent hymn, reminding us that as we're being thankful for our earthly harvest, we should remember and be ready for the Great Last Harvest.

And I love this prayer from the song:

"grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be."

That is my prayer this Thanksgiving, pre-Advent week: that God, by His gracious Spirit would make me pure and wholesome grain.

Here are all the words, from Home

694. Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Text: Henry Alford, 1810-1871
Music: George J. Elvey, 1816-1893
Tune: ST. GEORGE'S WINDSOR, Meter: 77.77 D

1. Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

2. All the world is God's own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

3. For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

4. Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Lookout Point

I've been on a bit of a kick now since I joined Facebook. A desire has grown in me to find out what has happened to many people I knew in the past. Where are they now? What are they doing?

I feel a bit like I've been on a long mountain hike. I started out at the bottom with many other people my own age, and we took off on our own paths. Now I'm at a lookout point, where I can stand and look out over the valley and the path I've come and I find myself wanting to touch base with those who started out the same time I did.

It's been a bit difficult, though. I'm sure most of my girl friends are married, and I have no idea what their married names are. I've found a few of the guys I knew, but most of them I was not exactly on speaking terms with, so why would I start now?

Then I decided I wanted to look up my first boyfriend, T. I had a horrendous crush on him when I was in 7th grade. By the time I was in 9th grade, he decided he liked me too, and we dated exclusively for a couple of years. In fact, it began to look as if Fate had determined to link our lives together.

But something wasn't right. For one thing, I wanted God to choose my husband, not fate. I determined to make a break, but T didn't feel the same, and instead asked me to marry him. I was only 17 at the time, but he was 19 and off to college. He wanted to get this settled.

Eventually, after much time spent literally on my knees, I managed to give him a "No" that he understood, though he promised to not give up yet.

At the end of my first year at college, I was engaged to Hubby and planning a Fall wedding. At home I found a letter waiting me from T, asking for one last "date." I agreed to the picnic, just to say a permanent good-bye. He offered to continue to be my friend after my marriage, to be someone I could talk to about things I couldn't talk to my husband about (!!) but that was the final nail in the coffin and I left him behind with no regrets.

Now after all these years I became curious. Did he go on to have a good life? Did he find a girl to marry? Did he do well? Or did he become an alcoholic like his father? Did he make it or did he not? Was he even still alive?

Yesterday I searched for him (oh, the glories of Google) and I FOUND him.

That is, I found his obituary. He died in the spring of 2008, after having a good life with a wife and two daughters, and honored for his volunteerism.

I'm glad he did well, and I'm glad to find I have no more interest in him than in any of my past acquaintances (no hidden broken heart here). I'm not sorry at all that I chose Hubby over T.

But the oddest thing about this incident is that I found I was not surprised at all that he had died. In a sense, he died to me 29 years ago. What surprised me was that he had a life.

I saw his picture on the memorial plaque the volunteer organization erected for him, and I recognized him. All I had remembered over the years was the 20-year-old that left me with a bad taste in my mouth, but I saw in his eyes the 15-year-old that I so admired. I'm sorry he only made it this far, and not to the top of the mountain.

Good-bye, T, for the last time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back again, till the cord dies again...

So Hubby fixed my computer cord AGAIN, and here I am!

But not for long at the moment, because it's time to make supper, and hungry people don't go away, they just keep getting hungrier.

However, I have been busy doing many different things, and NOT doing many different things. After all, it takes time and energy to cook, clean, procrastinate, and shop. And now I have a list about six feet long of things I'd like to write about, such as:

*my latest wardrobe acquisitions, including a pair of Born boots which somebody somewhere must have used my foot for the pattern for.

*our trip to Colorado to play with the One Chord worship team for a weekend conference.

*MB3's new project: a cello!!

*the emotional aftermath of two--TWO--families we are friends with moving away in the SAME WEEK.

*how excited I am to have a reason to practice my four-string guitar again.

And I have a list just as long of things I've been thinking about that don't really deserve blog posts. I think it's middle-age angst. But you don't want to hear all that, so I'll spare you.

And with that, I'm off to make pizza.