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Monday, September 10, 2007

A Loooong 90 Minutes


My wife got lost in the Sistine chapel.

This is not a fictional tale. Its true. With her neck stuck in the upright and locked position she lost site of the group. As she gazed at the Hand of God, the Last Judgment or perhaps colorful scenes from the Great Flood she wandered further and further away from the Shappell brigade.

As I exited the chapel I casually asked my grandma if she had seen Taryn exit. My grandma replied by saying that she was sure Taryn had exited in front of us and that she must be getting a head start on the next section of the museum. In retrospect, I never should have listened to my grandma. We had been dragging Taryn out of every museum we visited, so much so that Taryn had begun begging to tour the museums on her own so she could use the guided, senior citizen, headphone tours…why on earth would she have hurried through the climax of our artistic journey?

Standing at the funneled Sistine Chapel exit, I waited patiently. Minutes passed. My patience turned to concern. Concern to worry. Worry to panic. I had lost my wife in Vatican City.

There was no doubt that my feelings were shared by Taryn. I could just picture her pouty little lip beginning to cascade over her chin as she explained her situation to a security guard. I can imagine the panic that set in as the minutes ticked off the clock. I could imagine her standing on her tippy toes just trying to get a glance of a familiar head.

Finally, after ninety long minutes, she caught a glimpse of my dad, and collapsed into my his arms.


For many years I allowed feelings of worry and panic to overwhelm me. I found my futuristic frame of mind doing more harm than good. Today, I find myself in the midst of similar concerns. What is next after Seattle? Am I going to get a good job? Should I create my own position? Was moving to Seattle the right decision? Will God continue to provide life-giving relationships? What will community look like in our next urban adventure?

Lately I find myself in the Sistine Chapel, looking for a familiar head. Looking for something familiar. Lost in a sea of people, options, vocations, and ideas. Just looking. Looking for something I can know. Looking for a sign of God’s provision. Something to erase the worry, ease the doubt, or to fast forward through life's difficult decisions.

I may not find that something familiar, the worry may linger, but I hope that when I run into my Dad, he can help me figure it out.

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