Temporary signs


Originally uploaded by jon.swanson

It’s the first day of day camp for the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir. They call this week “Choralfest”. Every day, from 9-4, 250-275 kids meet in five different choirs to learn enough music to perform a concert on Friday evening. It’s an amazing amount of singing, music theory, teambuilding and other stuff.

Choralfest happens on a local university campus. Because there are a bunch of new kids every year, and because there is a new music building this year, we put up signs to provide direction.

(I say we because on Monday morning I am an extra set of hands for the initial setup. Nancy works in the choir office and our daughter Hope is one of the big kids that helps with the little kid choirs. For the rest of the week, I resume normal broadcasting but they will keep working, helping, following.)

The directional signs are temporary. Tape on a post temporary. They are created to last about 60 minutes on Monday morning. After that, the kids have a clue where to go.

Although the sign disappears, the lightpost doesn’t, the campus doesn’t, and, for a week anyway, Choralfest doesn’t. And then other signs will appear on the campus as school starts and a thousand different clubs and events and classes and people post signs to direct people who are looking toward the event they are seeking. Paths which, once found, don’t need the signs anymore.

I think sometimes we want permanent signs so we don’t have to remember where we are going. Rather than learning the directions, and having the place in our minds, we want to keep focusing on how to get there. There is a measure of irresponsibility in our living.

Other times we want permanent signs because we think that an event which is supposed to be temporary should last forever. We think that life should always be Choralfest or a convention or a retreat or a worship style or an unconference. These events are intended to last for awhile and then, having equipped or refreshed or taught us, go away.

Still other times we want permanent signs because we think that everyone should be exactly like us and have the same experiences. “What? You don’t like coffee? How can you ….”

Which path should you have learned by now? What event, long over, are you still looking for? What do you assume everyone should experience identically?

Maybe the sign is supposed to be gone.


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