Sunday, October 25, 2009

18 Days Till…

In 18 days I will throw my bag into the car and head to the Great Banquet in Peoria.  Sponsored for this women’s retreat weekend, the idea is based around the parable in Luke of the Great Banquet.  If you aren’t familiar with it, the story goes like this…
Luke 14: 15 - 24
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."  Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'  "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'  "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'  "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'  "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'  “‘Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'  "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.  I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "

I don’t know about you, but I have had my times when the banquet was spread out for me, the invitation was sent and then at the last minute – I waffled and didn’t go.  Oh Lord, thank you for the invitation, I’d really love to   (fill in the blank)   but, I’m tired, busy, disagreeing, ignoring, etc…  But, really the invitation was just so thoughtful.  And at other times, I’ve been one of the poor, crippled, blind, and lame who is ushered into a feast that is so extraordinary that I am overwhelmed.
This is part of the reason I am so excited to go.  I am at a time in my life where the chapters are changing.  The last three years consisted of hectic schedules with work and school, growing, and learning.  That part of my life is done, the degree in hand, and no more nights of economic math.  But now, what to do? 
Have you ever felt that you were standing between the last page of a chapter in your life story and the introductory page of the next chapter?  You have clear sight of what has happened, though there may still be ripples and ramifications that are not understandable yet.  Still, the new chapter has not progressed to the point that you are sure where the plot will lead and so, there at the metaphorical literary cross roads you stand.  There I stand.

So, in the next 18 days, I’m going to start focusing this writing a bit more on preparing for the Great Banquet and what that means.  It will be the turn of a page for me, to be a bit farther in this next chapter.