I am home now from a week at Chautauqua Institute and full of joy at one of the best weeks of my life.
As I reflect on this time at this special place, I realize that this week combined everything I love.
I love to learn and there are lectures here every day - twice a day and often about issues that I am very interested in. This week the theme was "Digital Identity" and I have lots of notes about the issues that involve our increasingly wired world. One of the things that is clear is that it isn't about whether it is good or bad - the advent of internet technology IS. And we need to recognize that it is and the ways in which we can use it and detach from it and not allow it to use us. One thing that I take away from this as a warning is that everything that is free on the internet (google, facebook, amazon, etc) means that we are the product and not the consumer. Anyway, more to process about that.
I love to be in community - especially when I am not in charge. We stay at the Disciples House and Dave and Betty are the facilitators of a wonderful intergenerational community of people who live together for a week. We share kitchen space and eat alongside each other. We sit on the porch and talk and we worship on Sunday mornings. I feel blessed every year to meet new and very interesting people during this week together.
I love my family and my friends and my greatest joy is bringing everybody together. That is surely what happened this week. We brought 9 year old Alyse and Reagan and met Audrey here. Plus my brother Wayne and Gail came, plus my friend Mary and her friend John, plus Jim and HOlly Bane. I cannot overstate what a blessing it was to watch everybody interact. I espcially enjoyed watching the girls and Audrey discover Chautauqua itself. There is too much to do in a week - and it just is wonderful.
So, Saturday morning I set at the computer and prepare to get back into life at Karl Road - (a wedding and a sermon to consider today!) but remain on a distinct high from this wonderful, blessed week.
Anyone can go to Chautauqua - and it is for me - heaven on earth.
God is Good.