I had not felt such a mix of emotions in a long time, being at Cascade College for the graduation and reunion. It was a blur of hours and minutes in so many ways. It was great to see so many -- Stephen & Diane, who were there briefly, Friday...Toby, Emily, Mike,Deanna, Kayla, Karissa, Bryce, Jack, Melba, Jim, Debbie, Dave, Betty, Lori, Dan, Linda, Kami, Brad, Dana, Will, Damian, Vance, Ernie...and some of my favorite professor people, June and Dew Anna, among many others. I know that I am missing several, but it was great to see all.
Stephen, Diane, family and myself went out to good Mongolian BBQ, Friday evening. It was a brief, but a nice visit. My good brother said...don’t you dare go back to campus and chase that wonderful MBBQ down with a hot dog or hamburger -- I didn’t. ;-) I had such a pleasant stay with Jack & Melba...she made one of my all time favorites, roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner, and it was terrific. Are we beginning to sense a theme here? I have eaten well. Another reminder that...vacation does not = eating right, but eating wonderfully, nonetheless. The chapel, graduation ceremony and dinner in the JC were all great. Lots of fellowship with above said friends. At the dinner, I felt the loss on the hearts of those who had invested their lives in CC. I pray for them.
Just going to wax philosophical for a bit...heard a lot of things said about the closing down of Cascade College over the weekend. There were definite melancholy moments. A friend had said to me...well, at least you do not have to do a funeral this trip, to which I replied -- that’s right. As the weekend unfolded, it was the same sense of loss, however, that I feel at a funeral. It is a loss...a significant loss. Pain is an old enemy...but, as they say, it is a good teacher, as well. I had come to grips with the pain before I arrived and that helped me to sort it out. Easy for me to say, however, who had been removed fromColumbia Christian College for many years. Those who have been on campus had the greater struggle, for certain. I had heard someone say the word “failure” over theweekend. I do not believe that CC was a failure in any respect, but a grand success. As some said at the graduation, it is what you do from here that makes the difference for Cascade College. If this is the case, then, I can tell numerous good, wonderous and successful stories about how graduates have impacted the lives of many, many people. So, indeed...a loss, but not a failure.
As I sat at the graduation, it took me back 22 years. It was so much the same. Same gymnasium, same multi-ethnic mix of people who had attended when I did, and were graduating. Same spirit that shone through the students, faculty and staff. And, yet, here I was -- so much different, and still the same. It is a testament to the Spirit of God working in that special place in the lives of thousands of people over the many decades. Whenever I meet someone who attended Columbia or Cascade, there is an immediate bond...and knowing spiritual understanding -- so cool. This is the great spiritual legacy that carries on. I thank the Lord for using Columbia Christian College and Cacade College to shape the spiritual lives of so many. Blessings,