Sunday, April 25, 2010

20 Years Ago

This afternoon I was telling Sally about an article I read by an astrophysicist, detailing how some early images from the Hubble Telescope totally invalidated his post-doctoral work. Sally remarked that it's helpful to note that others experience the sense of their carefully planned work having gone for nought. I stated my sense that such experiences are common, and then asked, "What were we worrying about 20 year ago today?"

On April 25, 1990, we were well into our fourth month in Lincoln, Nebraska. We had moved to Lincoln from Aurora, Colorado at the beginning of February, and were probably just familiarizing ourselves with the city. Megan was in the fourth grade, and Erin in first grade at Calvert Elementary School. Evan had yet to turn 4 years old. Though part of the justification of our move to Lincoln was our proximity to the University of Nebraska School of Agricultural Engineering, Sally had yet to act on her interest.

Most of my memories of the time are centered on my work, where I was trying to establish myself as the new Associate Conference Minister in Nebraska. We also were planning a big summer trip west. I was to be the keynote speaker at the West Regional Youth Event at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Our route took us through Spokane, where we tried to dry out our tent after a wet night at Glacier National Park. Our route home took us through the Washington Tri-Cities.

In those days we didn't spend much time worrying about how Sally's engineering career would work out, though it has proven much more important to our family than my work in ministry. We drove through Spokane and spent time at Forest Grove. We drove within a mile of Megan's present home in Kennewick, yet none of that was on our radar, nor could it have been. Had some time traveler attempted to tell us then how our lives would unfold, we'd have never believed them for a moment.

So what were we worrying about 20 years ago today? It seems to have slipped my mind. The only trace it has left in passing is the reminder to ask myself today, "What are you worrying about...and how much does it really matter?"

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