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Life as performance art

Life as performance art


By Fr. G. Corwin Stoppel

Pat and I attended St. Clement’s Anglican Parish in Prague last fall. It’s a very old church, with frescoes that have faded over the centuries and a magnificent organ played by Albert Schweitzer nearly a century ago.

Like most Anglican churches, St. Clement’s has an environmental officer who keeps in the forefront of members’ minds the challenges facing the world around us. The Saturday before our first Sunday, Angela led a small group on an all-day train trip to Bruns to see the bears.

A couple people on the trek got seat-sore and wondered why they couldn’t have just gone to the local zoo to see bears. Angela replied it’s not the destination that counts, but the journey.

So, yes, it would have saved time to take a short tram ride to the zoo, see the bears and go home. Instead, guests saw the countryside, spent time with each other and more closely connected with the world around them.

It’s a message to keep in mind as we draw near spring. Let’s enjoy these glorious days and weeks, if for no other reason than we’re alive, and not get caught up in the rush. Otherwise we miss too much.

I’m not much interested in the destination anymore. It’s the journey itself which fascinates and excites me.

I come to that conclusion every time I hear or read the news. Between the growing tensions with North Korea, the possibility the Yellowstone Caldera might soon erupt, two other big volcanoes — one in Bali, the other in the Canary Islands — are likely to go off any time, and the bubonic plague now spreadxing in Madagascar, the destination doesn’t look that appealing.

It’s the journey I enjoy. From walking over to All Saints’ early in the morning, then a walk to the post office and back, to seeing people I know, talking with visitors to this area, listening to the foghorn or the whistle of the Star of Saugatuck, it’s all good. Going home at the end of the day is the best of all.

The destination will come soon enough and might not be pretty. But right now, we can enjoy the natural and human beauty of where we live.