On the horns of the Derby dilemma

6 Jun

“Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city. ‘Let all who are simple come in here!’ she says to those who lack judgment. ‘Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.'” (Prov. 9:1-6)

Lord, please give us wisdom. Give us one molecule of your understanding. When we make decisions for ourselves, may we turn to you for your guidance and your purpose. Help us exhibit your heart for fairness, justice, and kindness when we make decisions impacting others. May someone’s day be better and brighter because we touched their life. Amen.

HORNED TOAD DERBY DAZE I was going to leave the BLOGging to Beauty today, but then she handed me the weekly paper, with the advisory, “You’d better check the Letter to the Editor.” (In a small town, the editor is not often deluged with more than one.) The letter offered numerous examples about how the Derby Parade and Derby itself were so much different–and less ‘homey’–than in the ‘good ol’ days’. The Chamber of Commerce has been hosting the Derby since (I believe) 1933. As a Chamber board member, I tend to care about any comments pertinent to our ‘bailiwick’.

One of my first conclusions after reading was that many of the comments were (I suspect, unknowingly) not aimed at the Chamber, but at the ‘greater community’. Perhaps I should change that last phrase to ‘our community that needs to be greater’. I am particularly sensitive to this because of ongoing issues here in town that keep people and organizations ‘at arm’s length’, and also current happenings in our Presbyterian (PCUSA) denomination. The Presbyterian debacle is for another time.

Here is my resulting letter to the pastors of our local Ministerial Association:

“Hi, ‘Min Assn’ folks-

I’d like to call your attention to today’s LETTER TO THE EDITOR about this year’s Derby.

My point, actually, is not about Derby, but about our larger community. Comments are made which–to me–point to the need for us to re-commit to our plans to host a CCC.

In my opinion, this article reveals, community-wide: poor communication, organizational disunity & fracture, a lack of caring or interest by the public, a lack of purpose, and unclear direction and focus.
Other ‘opportunities for creative change’ probably come quickly to your minds.

I strongly support putting the CCC back on our ‘front burner’. Without minimizing the benefits of what we have already done together, I believe we have before us a more important challenge. I often hear that the Church no longer leads, but follows. Whether or not true, the CCC is a way we can both lead, and include and empower other community leaders to combine efforts for the benefit of all greater-area Coalingans.

Yes, I know we are all ‘too busy’ already, but I believe this is a genuine and authentic need here in Coalinga.
If we don’t accept this challenge, who will?”

CCC: Coalinga Community of Caring…
is modeled after a program in Sanger. Community leaders from across the community come together not just to address problems, but also to combine assets, resources, strengths and experiences to–TOGETHER–build bridges to make life better for everyone.

How about YOU? Are you a bridge-builder? When was the last time you found a way to fasten a length of rope to a rock, and threw it across a chasm? When was the last time you helped make a scrawny length of rope the beginning foundation for a rope bridge? Slowly, but surely and steadfastly helping to make it stronger and stronger and stronger, until…

that bridge that began with nothing more than Doubt and a hint of Hope, became a Bridge of Hope, then stronger as a Bridge of Growing Understanding, then more flexible and resilient as a Bridge of Fellowship, and–ultimately–a Bridge of Love. A Bridge of Love so enduring that, should the bridge itself disappear, the Love–all that really matters–would continue on. For the Bridge had done its job: to Bridge Hearts together with Love.

yesterday, in ‘Proverbially Speaking’, I described a metaphor as painting with a brush of words. This Bridge of Love is a metaphor for God’s Love for us.

and all those you love and adore.

May the God of Love guide your every step, whether it be crossing the most rickety bridge being tossed by torrents, or in the safety of a bridge built to last ‘forever’.

Only Jesus Christ is the bridge who truly lasts forever.


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