Wednesday, November 18, 2009
My Invocation - How do you Pray in “Secular” Settings?
Well, Saturday went okay. I have to be honest, I have a lot of “demons” going back to high school. We moved to Vancouver, WA for my sophomore year but thankfully moved back (it was a horrible year that looking back was probably the first signs of my bi-polarism manifesting itself). My Junior year at Wasson High School was great. I loved AP history, I loved wrestling (including breaking Mitchell High School, our arch rival’s 33 match unbeaten streak). It was a great year. But my senior year was dreadful - I was too serious, had too many girl problems, did not know what to do with my future (which at 17 is the way things are supposed to be). And again, looking back my mental health issues were probably already evident.
So going back to Wasson on Saturday was a chance to come face to face with a place i had not visited in over 20 years and do something that is reflective of the person i have become. I got to pray, but boy, it is hard to know how to pray in a church/state setting. The anniversary was officially put on by the Alumni Board, so it was not a school board thing, so in hindsight, i could probably have prayed more freely than I did. But here is the text of my prayer. I felt led by God as I developed it, so I felt comfortable in the end result:
As we gather today, to celebrate the 50 years of Roy J. Wasson High School, we begin as those gathered that day did, with a prayer to you, for this school, and for the students, teachers, staff and families of the Wasson community. We thank you for the many blessings for which this school has been the setting.
We are thankful for the many teachers who taught, who sacrificed, who helped their students become not only smarter but better citizens. Even now you bring their faces to our minds and our hearts swell with thankfulness.
We are thankful for the students, past and present, and future, who passed through these doors and have gone on to serve their communities.
We are thankful for the staff outside of the classroom, who have and continue to provide the environment for learning, for growing, for bonding.
We are thankful for the families and the neighborhoods that make up this school’s larger community, for their sacrifice, for their support, for their involvement.
Fifty years ago the future of Wasson was unknown but it was dedicated with prayer and hope to the shaping of students and to the building of a better world. Today as we gather, help us to have eyes to see and minds to remember the good that was done here, to celebrate the lives lived here, and the willingness to continue to be agents for righteousness, justice and mercy in our world.
We also ask that the future of Wasson may be as long, as full, and as rich as its past.