Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Nine members of First Baptist arrived in Guatemala this morning for a 10 day missions trip. We are staying at Casa Manna in San Cristobel, a suburb of Guatemala City.
Tonight my son Luke will bepreaching at a teen service, and I couldn't be more proud a papa.<br>
Pray much for us the next week as we feed childretn, put shoes on their feet, and share the love of Jesus with them.
I will try to post updates through the week, and will share pictures upon our return.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Last night Patty and I are in the dairy section at Wal-Mart, getting milk and orange juice when a couple in their late 30’s/early40’s with a little girl walk past. The guy is tall, 6’1”, and looks like what we called a “Head” when I was in High School. Probably experimented with a few drugs in his time, haircut from about 30 years ago. He sees me, and from the corner of my eye I notice that he keeps looking at me, like he knows me.
As Patty and I cut through another aisle, I asked her if she noticed him. She also saw him staring at me. “Must be a inmate” was my first response.
For those of you who may not know, I was a Deputy Sheriff for about 10 years and worked at the Harford County Detention Center. I left Christmas 2002 to go full time in Ministry.
But I constantly run into people who seem to recognize me. Many times they are ex-inmates that I had contact with at the jail. Sometimes it was good contact. Sometimes it wasn’t. But I also seem to run into a LOT of people who did not know me from the jail, but from Elementary, Middle and High School, College, my time in radio, retail, or who happened to live next door at one of the 6 or 7 houses we live in during the 70’s.
There is a problem, though with running into so many people who knew me 10, 20, 30 years ago.
I DON’T REMEMBER 90% OF THEM!
Everybody, it seems, remembers Dave Mason. I have run into guys I went to KINDERGARTEN with who instantly recognize me. Teachers from Grade School. Then there are the hundreds from college, my time as a reporter and News Director for various radio stations, and the “fill-in” jobs in retail – Kiddie City (anyone remember the best toy store Bel Air ever had?), a Hardware/Floral Shop I managed, Hechinger's (Maryland's Home Depot before Home Depot came to Maryland and shut them down), The grocery stores, etc., etc.
Classmates, reporters, DJ’s, bosses, cashiers, foremen, inmates, Deputies, even former church members…they all seem to remember me. And except for the occasional face – never a name- I can’t remember ANY of them!
The incident last night made me come to three realizations:
1. I really am getting old.
My wife hates it when I say that. I have Senior citizens in my church who chide me when I declare I’m now middle aged. But I turn 45 this October. 45x2=90! I HOPE to make it to 90 if The Lord does not return before that! Most likely I am WAY PAST middle age. As John Cougar Mellencamp said, “There’s less days in front of the horse than riding in the back of this cart.”
Just two months ago (See twitter post at the left) I was given a Senior Coffee at McDonalds!
I’ve met a lot of people. Done a lot of things. I’ve had more careers than most FAMILIES. I’ve been to Africa. Going to Guatemala next week. It’s really been a rich life, no matter how much I’ve complained along the way. But…..
2. I don’t remember you if you have not invested in me.
There are people from my past that I immediately recognize, or would if I ran into them. I remember their faces AND names. They invested a part of their life in me. I could name them, but I hate having my name bantered on the internet without my approval, won’t do that to another.
So please, if you run into me and recognize me, don’t be too offended if I don’t remember you. Our passing acquaintance may have left an impact on you (Preachers tend to leave impacts) But I am NOT one to hold on to the past, except for the big moments. Which leads me to….
3. I seem to live totally in the moment.
The past is a blur to me, except, as I said, for the big moments. I have never been one for photo albums, scrapbooks or journals (though I try mightily). Focus has always been a problem for me. Note my many careers. I like change and variety. But I have found that one thing I am totally focused on is THIS MOMENT. As soon as this moment is gone, I tend to forget it, unless it was monumental. Meeting Patty for the first time, the birth of my boys, Preaching in inner city Baltimore and seeing 25 people saved at one time, watching my son Luke preach, seeing Ben strike out 7 batters in 4 innings, Jamaica with Patty on our 15th anniversary. These things stick.
I meet many, many people. I seem to influence, impact and leave an impression on most. But unless I let you into my inner circle, once I am a year or two removed from regular contact, my mind tends to dump you into the recycle bin. Its not personal, its not even an indication of how much I like or dislike a person. It’s just my mind and how it processes, and saves, information that is important to me.
So if you see me, and its been years since we last talked, do me a favor, open the conversation with, “Pastor Dave, its (Your name here)”
Something will jog in my brain, and I will remember enough about you to hold a conversation.
If not, at least I have your name and I can fake it.