By Ruth DuCharme       

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Last Sunday afternoon, Chase and I sat down in front of the computer and began the process of filling out his college applications. It was one of those moments that I faced with a mixture of both joy and sadness. My joy comes in knowing that he is about to accomplish a great milestone in his life, graduating from high school, and my sadness is in knowing that he has grown up way too fast.

I have faced Chase's senior year with so many mixed emotions. I want this year to go by slowly, so that I can soak in every precious moment. I don't want to miss a single chance to see him playing the tuba with the Howard High Marching Huskies, or miss any special senior year events like prom or Senior Honors Day. This year is all about soaking in the moments and finding joy in each opportunity to celebrate.

Sometimes I let life's moments pass me by. I daydream when I should be focusing. I busy my mind with details when I should be allowing myself to simply pay attention to what is happening around me. I miss the joy. I miss the moment.

I find this true in times of worship, too. There are times when I simply go through the motions, and then when worship is over, I look back and wonder if I really soaked in anything. Did I pay attention to the words of the hymn? Did I let the sermon speak to me on a personal level? Did I really pray? Did I really offer myself to God?

This past Sunday, it hit me how blessed we have been to have Brett Younger as our interim preacher. In my mind, I started to count down the number of sermons that he has left to preach in our pulpit. (There I go with my wandering mind during worship!) I wondered if I have really soaked in the words he has spoken, the truths he has shared and the prayers that he has offered. I hope that I have - I hope that you have. I hope that after he leaves us, you will find that he has left some of his wisdom in your mind, some of his prayers upon your heart, and some of his humor in your spirit. Over the next few weeks, I will soak in his messages, and I will take to heart his benediction to "be blessed with enough foolishness to believe that I can make a difference in the world."