“Prepare ye, the way of the Lord; prepare ye, the way of the Lord.”
These words echoed through the main sanctuary as Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) president David Pollick sang them as arranged for Godspell. This impromptu serenade served as the beginning of his prepared statements for those gathered at First United Methodist Church for the next installment of the Lenten lecture series. It also served as a pleasant treat for those in attendance. The words come from Mark 1:1 and are attributed to John the Baptist. The remainder of the line reads, “…make his paths straight.” The words were appropriate when he applied them to the recent events that involve the institution that he is charged with day to day oversight of.
I’m going to assume that right now most of my regular readers are wondering how I’m going to tie this biblical verse into one of my insane ramblings. Well, let’s see.
There are many people that have all of the tools and opportunities presented before themselves to do great things, most of which would fall under the category of morally right. The main point that I walked away with from Dr. Pollick’s comments is that the choice is ours what we do in these moments. We are the ones that can choose to be great or to do things that would be considered immoral, including the destruction of small wooden churches in rural Alabama.
The other choice that must be made in a situation like that is if you are the one that has suffered because of the action, can you forgive. The congregants have been able to do so. Those that attend the small rural church found the ability to choose to forgive, even in the situation presented to them. There are many people that I believe would find it hard to do so. They’ve also made the decision to rebuild and to come together as a community for support and encouragement during this time. BSC has made a decision to volunteer to assist in rebuilding the physical structures for them to worship in. This is something that they did not have to take part in, but felt compelled to as leaders in the community, providing an example for their students about what they should do in their own lives.
Whether you are religious, spiritual or not, spring is a time when you take stock of your life, to see what you can live without or what needs to be changed. Some people do spring cleaning, some choose to think about life changes. It’s ironic that most of the talk about communication and implementation is reaching its peak now, as our spring social season is starting, allowing for more conversation and perhaps, an opportunity to find that same sense of community found in rural Alabama without having to suffer the same heartbreak. The choice has been laid before us to decide how we want to move forward in our lives as a city; now is as good a time as any to determine what we’re going to do.
My place of reflection? I choose to run a long distance race over a bridge along the Carolina coast the first weekend in April. Somewhere between keeping my pace up with the beat of the song I’m listening to and asking myself at the apex of the span why am I doing this again with 3 miles to go, I’m thinking about how life’s been going. And what’s coming next. Also thinking about the home opener for the Barons (we’ll talk more about that later), but mainly about what choices are coming next.
Share your thoughts if you got ’em.