This past Sunday night, my wife and I were treated to an incredible evening of reflection, stories, laughter, and tears as our congregation we've served for 16 years had a good-bye reception. Let me first say that I enjoy a good pat on the back as much as anyone. But over-doing the thank-yous and kudos is borderline uncomfortable for me. Sure its nice and I don't want to diminish it, but I've never been a "much ado about me" kind of person. I know people who are....and I don't particularly care for that sort of mentality. So I resist it.
But this is a little different. I can't tell you how great it feels to know you're respected and valued, and that your efforts over some span of time made some sort of difference. I supposed that's a big part of why I got into this 'business' from the get-go.
To say that they pulled out all the stops would be an understatement. Many of the funny things that were done were full of insider jokes that wouldn't make sense here without a lot of explanation. But they put together a program that they hoped would last 45 minutes, and it finished around 1 hour and 45 minutes, with a dessert reception to follow. It was and is all very humbling, and I can't tell you how blessed my family has been to have been a part of such a wonderful community of believers. If you read this and you were involved in some way - wrote one of the letters we received, helped plan the evening, were part of a video or testimony, helped with the very cool scrapbook that was assembled, or were one of the many in the crowd who just showed up - I can't thank you enough. I only hope I can mirror your heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all you've done for me as Vicki and I have "grown up" in your presence.