Mrs. Blake and I are getting ready to move into a different district parsonage within the next month.   We spent the entire day packing, taking some things to a storage unit and sending many things to a dumpster.  Perhaps as a form of therapy, everyone should move periodically. Moving shows you what things you value.  Going through one box today I saw 30 years of experiences pass before my eyes.  Moving is tough when you have to decide what to keep and what to discard.  We are moving to a home without a basement thus we lose a midwestern storage unit commonly referred to as “the basement.”  A decade or so after this step Susanne and I will be moving to a place where there will be less space and no basement as well, so we are preparing for the end of life issues.  In plain English: you cannot keep everything!  Today I had to dispose of things that were stuffed full of memories.  When we moved to Detroit in 2003, the children in our church made a large Christmas wreath with wooden mittens attached, which they colored and signed their names.  As I read each of the names, I smiled as I remembered them and their families.  The wreath is falling apart and is larger than any door we possess, so the wreath was discarded, and part of my heart went with it as well. What to keep and what to let go of is an essential question.  You cannot hold on to everything.  I am not quite sure whether it was the packing and loading and lifting that tired me out, or the emotional energy expended letting go of the past?

Since Susanne and I needed a break, we went to dinner with two fellows that I have known since I was 18.  LaMar Hull and I met standing in line for lunch in Ludwig center at Olivet Nazarene University the beginning days of our freshman year.  As we conversed in the lunch line, we discovered that our hometowns were only fifty miles apart.  Little did I know that we would become great friends during our four years of college.  After graduation, we never lived near each other, but kept in contact and visited each other occasionally.  Today we live 88 miles from each other in two different states.  LaMar and his brother Steve met Susanne and me for dinner today.  We laughed and reminisced. LaMar has experienced significant loss in his life, yet today he is a resilient survivor.  Seeing him and Steve today was like a tonic for me.  Though life may change and you have to throw away some boxes of your treasured trinkets, your friends are still your friends. We had no idea when we parted company at our college graduation where life would take us, yet to share a meal and memories made throwing away the old Christmas ornaments not seem so sad and final.

What I was reminded of today.”

  • Your boxes of memories eventually become “junk” to someone!
  • You are in trouble if the quality of your life can be contained in a box!
  • You need to give some of your things away to someone who could use them!
  • Keep in touch with friends!
  • Laughter sure helps lessen the changing seasons of life.
  • Relationships are indispensable.
  • Jesus is Lord!




3 Thoughts to “In a world of change: Friends are Friends”

  1. darryl bogatay

    Dr. B;
    A Very meaningful WH today. It’s an excellent reminder of the distinction we must all make regarding the things, that are to simply remain things, and those things that are elevated in their importance because they qualify as treasures. Friendships are indeed treasurers.

  2. Rev. Susanne Blake

    As I read this I realize too the sadness that came over me as I went though pictures. I try to not live in the past but letting go of it is hard. Even if the past is full of good memories or painful ones I am reminded it is not easy letting go.

    It is a type of grieving that no one recognizes as real grief. Yet it is grieving the loss of something gone, but not forgotten. I look to the future to make new memories of things that make me smile. I want to build new relationships that are healthy and give life texture and significance.

  3. Sue

    Amen…I can relate. Simplicity is freeing as I have found. You two are loved and in my prayers during this time.

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