i will not take these things for granted

thoughts on this and that in an attempt to live reflectively

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

Sunday, July 09, 2006

So Long, So Long

On Friday afternoon I loaded up my vehicle with just about every material possession I own and headed east out of Abilene. I'm quite proud of my packing job. The rear axle groaned the whole way home, but she got the job done and has found sweet relief: my room here in Little Rock is cluttered to say the least.

Takin' my time, takin' this drive,
Wavin' this town goodbye.

The last three years in Abilene have been wonderful; I’ve learned and grown so much and made so many good friends. And for that I’m very grateful. Leaving Abilene was sad on Friday, not because of the city (though it does have some good things going for it) but because of the people. That’s what makes it such a special place.

And what made leaving especially hard was breaking the fellowship (temporarily at least) with three of my best friends. We’ve been thick as thieves these past two months and it’s been a blast. We’ve had adventures, we’ve created art, we’ve eaten together, we’ve helped each other prepare to move, we’ve quoted movies, and we’ve talked about the important things in life as well. We’ve taken care of each other and blessed each other; we’ve been family. It’s been kinda like Friends (you know, the TV show) but without the morally unsavory parts.

Friends are a gift from God (not the TV show, the people in your life). Proverbs says that and it’s right. Thanks for friends, God, and while I’m being thankful, I will not take these things for granted:

1. Laughter
2. When being with friends feels like home
3. When friends are bold enough to challenge you to grow
4. The sacrifices others make for me
5. The opportunity to sacrifice for others, and how often it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all
6. The sacrifice Christ made for us
7. The dynamic of one-on-one conversations
8. Fireworks
9. The reaction created by mixing Mentos and Diet Pepsi (you've got to try it)
10. Energy and athleticism
11. Happy hour Dr. Peppers at Chicken Express
12. My books, music, and clothes
13. My photos and my scanner to scan them with
14. My vehicle
15. My family at Minter Lane Church of Christ
16. My professors and the wonderful theological education I received at ACU
17. That two of my best friends in Abilene are also my teammates. My mission teammates are my best friends, how cool is that?!
18. That God has given me not a spirit of timidity but of power, love, and a sound mind.

Yes, the Abilene chapter has come to a close.

Now I’m beginning what will be a short chapter here in Little Rock; I’ll be here for four months, spending time with my supporting church and with my family and making final preparations for moving to the Czech Republic. It’s good to be here.

Thank you, Lord, for the last three years in Abilene. So long, Abilene, So long...

I was certain that the season could be held between my arms,
But just as summer’s hold is fleeting.
I was here but now,
I’m gone.

So long, so long.

[The lyrics are from Dashboard Confessional's new song 'So Long, So Long.']


Blogger Donald Philip Simpson said...

God bless you and our mutual friends, as well as the new friends you will be making. By the way, is that a Heineken box in the back of your Toyota? I know its hard to leave, but I would have chosen some Guinness instead. I look forward to hearing about your continued ministries. God's speed my friend!

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Jay said...

Hope the next chapter begins well. Amy and I sure did enjoy knowing you while we were in Abilene. I'm sure you'll be missed by all the folks at Minter Lane.

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mitch may God richly bless your next 10 years. Enjoyed the pictures of your vehicle. We'll be in Searcy Aug 5th 6pm for Ryans wedding. Glad our paths have crossed!

Pam Toole

3:24 PM  
Blogger Dayna said...

Thanks for your note, Mitch. Know that I will be praying for you as you leave Abilene and start on another journey! Please keep in touch! Grace and peace and many blessings to you...

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Was just thinking about you, telling some friends that I had a friend who was a "miracle" (persay) baby. What a purpose God has for us all!! I like what pam said - glad our paths have crossed! really hope we get to see you again before your next journey! You and your teammates will be in my constant prayers! I pray that God fills you all with his peace and joy always! keep in touch.
rachel elder

p.s. i am seriously impressed with you packing skills!

8:48 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Time for a blog-update, Mitch.

I may be in Memphis next week, it would be cool if you could get away from Little Rock for a night. I'll call you with details.

6:22 PM  

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