Last night I was an invited guest for a Scholarship Banquet at the Seminary. I know I was invited because I have the invitation. I turned in the RSVP card, on time, to the receptionist at the seminary. Assured that it would be given to the proper person, I didn't give it another thought. When I got to the door there was no sticker with my name nor one for my husband.
Since that was my second trip to Sioux Falls, I was tired. My husband had a stressful day at work. I stood there wondering why I came. I was embarrassed and frustrated. I mumbled to the equally stressed and embarrassed woman in charge, that I really had turned in my RSVP.
She asked us to handwrite our name tags and go sit at table 13. I thought 13! That's not a lucky number. My husband wanted to know if table 13 would be outside. It wasn't. We hung our coats and found the table.
To my delight I recognized the other student sitting at my table. She has listened to my lament on living in South Dakota. She has said she'd pray for me. She has been kind sharing her struggles living in this state.
Also sitting at the table was a former dean of the seminary, a former administrator in fund raising and their wives. The fund raiser with typical friendliness of his profession greeted us with an engaging welcome and smile. His name was Ben. He said he knew almost all the donors who had funded our scholarships.
The former dean was less friendly. Nevertheless it was a nice table to sit at even if it was table 13. As we chatted across the table, that awkward chat of strangers pushed together at a social event, I asked Ben what he had taught before he became an administrator. He said "Oh I'm not that smart. I just raised money."
It's odd how we creep toward the final chapters of our lives that we see ourselves as has-beens. I am watching Crazy Heart, a movie about another so-called 'has-been.' I am fast approaching the age of has-been. Often as I sit in class, I see other students looking at me wondering what this old woman is doing sitting in their classes.
Ben should not consider himself a has-been. He was a contributor to all of us who came behind him at the seminary. Some of us couldn't go to school without scholarship money. What a great contribution he has made. As long as his contribution continues, he will never be a has-been.
I've been interviewing for another chapter of my life, a chapter of more education. In this interviews I have said several time, I'm not done. I still have something to contribute. I do!
Spring comes late in South Dakota, very late. While daffodils are blooming elsewhere they are not here. I haven't reached full bloom either. I may be old enough to be a has-been but I'm not. I have not been in full bloom yet. I'm still pushing through the hard ground. I'll get there. With God's help and grace, I will get there.