"It is hard to believe, but 2007 is about to be history, and this is our last Friday Five of the year. With that in mind, share five memorable moments of 2007. These can be happy or sad, profound or silly, good or bad but things that you will remember. Bonus points for telling us of a "God sighting"-- a moment when the light came through the darkness, a word was spoken, a song sung, laughter rang out, a sermon spoke to you in a new way--whatever you choose, but a moment in 2007 when you sensed Emmanuel, God with us. Or more particularly, you."
1. Watching one of our sons graduate from college and remembering his graduations from 8th grade Montessori and from my high school alma mater. His twin brother refused to attend his college graduation, making the one we got to share all the more poignant.
2. Two many moments to count as I was the recipient of many good wishes upon my departure from the land of Orthodox Judaism (the school in which I taught) en route to Presby-land Seminary, many of them public and all of them reminders that we really can, on a one-to-one basis, make friendships and develop community in the most unlikely of settings among people who differ greatly from one another. One of the best of those moments: a young man yelling down the hallway, "Hey, Rabbi Gannet!"
3. Sitting in the middle of the Speed River outside Guelph, Ontario to pray through intolerably hot August afternoons on my eight-day silent retreat. The Speed River is neither speedy nor much of a river, but it was perfect for my purposes.
4. Starting both seminary and my training program in spiritual direction ~ not so much moments as processes.
5. A real moment: someone who means a great deal to me saying something so wonderful to me about my potential for ministry that I am able to pull those eight little words out of my metaphorical pocket in the middle of a long night of Greek, turn them over and look at them in surprise, and then plough forward through a field comprised of nothing but mud and rocks.
Bonus Moment: A long walk with a friend early last spring, discussing her husband's reaction to having been downsized from his job as a corporate attorney and his refusal to look for any other kind of work (the severance package having been at least a silver parachute made such a decision possible) due to his feeling that he is "too old to learn anything new." She did not yet know about my seminary applications, and I glanced at her in some horror, thinking that I had failed to take into consideration the possibility that I might be too old to learn anything new. I am so grateful for that moment, in which my sense of grace and call began to crystallize in a whole new way as I began to understand just how radical to (some) others and yet how natural to me was the path upon which I had embarked.
Quite a year.
(Image: Jesuit Retreat Center at Guelph.)