I don’t know if you watched the Academy Awards this past Sunday—I did, kind of, taking advantage of good conversation and incredible food between presentations and into the presentations themselves. It was an interesting year with a lot of justice issues that sprang from it—host Seth McFarlane (creator of Family Guy and a bunch of other shows that are the same as Family Guy) made a lot of misogynistic, patronizing remarks; the visual effects team from Life of Pi, while explaining that their studio went bankrupt because VFX folks are drastically underpaid, was cut off launching protests in Los Angeles this week; and of course, Alex Karras (among others) was not included in the In Memoriam reel.
The last one might just be a personal issue for me and not a justice issue. Alex Karras’s story is one of transformation. Drafted by the Lions out of the University of Iowa, he played well until he was caught betting on games and suspended. During his suspension, he dabbled in professional wrestling, only to be reinstated by the Lions and to have one of the best NFL careers of the 1960s. Once he officially retired, he took a few commentator jobs and then PUNCHED A HORSE PLAYING MONGO IN BLAZING SADDLES. (Seriously, Academy, you messed up.) He continued to act, also creating the television show Webster. There are a lot of pairings more opposite than professional football and acting (like professional basketball and acting, lest we forget the horror that was Shazaam or Space Jam) but to transform, to transition, to grow into something new—it’s pretty amazing.
I haven’t forgotten that I want to have a meal with everyone in the church by the end of my first year. (We’re halfway there, folks!) I hope you haven’t either. I want to share here how you’ve been transformed, transitioned, grown into something new—and how you want to see that happen, and how to bless it. I want to know where you came from, why you came to Midway Hills, and where it’s going to take you. I want to know if you’ve punched a horse, but more certainly, I want to get to know everyone. And I want y’all to get to know me. Because I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.
Except next week—I’ll be in church Sunday and then I’m off to Alabama for a week’s R&R, back in plenty of time for worship 3/10. But that is just a quick jaunt—let’s be in this together for the long haul. Let’s talk about what God is doing together—pencil me in somewhere.