If an oxygen mask should ever drop from the ceiling during flight, the last thing in the world I’ll do, I can assure you, is “breath normally.” Even though the actors of our in-flight video were remarkably cool, almost robotic, as though such masks descend before them whenever they fly, I expect that if I were to observe one of those plastic things dangling before me, my breathing rate would suddenly rise to meet our cruising altitude.
As we are now flying home to Chicago, I am reflecting upon the last two weeks of ministry in Hawaii. Following are a few highpoints, with a primary insight to tie them together.
- Our host, Charles Roylo, through gourmet cooking, tour-guiding, and manifold expressions of kindness provided unforgettable hospitality.
- Following my Sunday morning sermons, while greeting the congregation of Hawaii Kai Church in the narthex, Angela and I were uplifted by waves of love and encouragement. Such graciousness is a gift for which we are deeply grateful.
- Finally, in various social gatherings we enjoyed the sweetness of Christian fellowship.
The common thread between these and other such experiences is the supreme worth of friendship; and herein lies the primary insight. Recreation is great (especially on the Pacific Islands), but it is an insufficient end unto itself. The greatest joys occur in relation to people, not things. Activities may help to facilitate relationships, but they are an inadequate substitute. Laughter, conversation and life-long memories with friends are more exceedingly valuable. Indeed, it is like oxygen; we can’t live without it.
Thanks to all of you who have made our visit so special!