From the Pastor’s Desk:
July 14, 2019
“‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’” - Luke 15:9b
On our first day of vacation, we surprised our girls with a trip to Tahquamenon Falls. Michaela became interested in waterfalls while researching a project at school this year and was thrilled to discover that there were so many in Michigan, including Tahquamenon, which is the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi.
I was excited to go back for a couple of reasons. First, it is breathtakingly beautiful up there. I love the lack of everything modern and the presence of everything natural all in the same space. Second, it had been nearly 25 years since I was last there. And when I was there last, my Uncle Mark and I buried a treasure.
Ok, so treasure is stretching it a bit. While walking around the island at the lower falls, Mark dug into his pocket and pulled out a quarter. He told me to lift up a big rock near the edge of the foot path, and we put the quarter there. My uncle told me to remember that exact spot, and the next time I was there I could look for and find the coin. I don’t think either of us thought my next trip to Tahquamenon was going to be over two decades later. But I was determined.
We got the girls up early and hit the lower falls. I rowed the boat with my family across the water to the island, and we enjoyed the scenery. We took pictures with the falling water. And, when we approached the spot on the island where my uncle and I had buried a coin 25 years earlier, I began to look for a familiar rock. Time and memory change a lot of things. Before I knew it I was lifting every rock of roughly the right shape and size. I lifted so many rocks that my wife became concerned that I was going to put my back out on the first day of our vacation. So I stopped looking. Instead, I found a new rock, gave each of my girls a shiny quarter, and we buried them there (with plenty of pictures to identify where it is and an attempted - though failed! - GPS tag). We made a promise that it wouldn’t be 25 years before we made it back to the falls together to find the coins.
Sometimes what is lost cannot be found, even if we remember right where we left it (and I was sure I did). Time and memory erode and change and grow the world around us and the world within us. In those cases, we can choose to obsess and throw our backs out turning over every rock to try and grab ahold of what was lost - or we can stop, look around us, and give thanks for the new treasure, the gift of the here and the now.
I may not have found the coin my uncle and I buried all those years ago, but I got 25 years of memories (and counting). Twenty-five years wondering and anticipation, years of “Someday I’ll go back again.” Now I was able to give that same gift to my girls. I hope someday they will make the trip with their own children and bury some treasure of their own. I may not have found the coin, but I certainly found the treasure and I rejoice in it.
Still finding more, Pastor Mike
Don’t forget to check out the “Grace Cubed” podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or go to www.anchor.fm/gracecubed
Cherry Hill United Methodist Church