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Tuesday, April 14, 2015


by Tom Pappas

It seemed like a good idea at the time. What could go wrong? All I needed to do was convince a friend to join me for a 500-mile road trip so we could participate in the Chicago Men’s Retreat over a weekend in March. And I did recruit a friend; and nothing went wrong. In fact, except for missing an interstate ramp in Des Moines, everything went right.

We enjoyed time together on the drive. We were folded into the group and felt welcomed and appreciated. God blessed us with a reminder to live a focused and balanced life.

Lumunos is a long time anchor and strongbox for the touchstones of my faith-life. My first taste of Lumunos was 45 years ago, and I strongly remember resonating with style and content of Lumunos, and still do.

Spring is the time we typically celebrate rejuvenation. As a gardener I am fascinated by the qualities God puts in plants – especially persistence and resilience. They do what they do with a passion. Yesterday’s modest dandelion has three giant blooms today. A tomato seed inadvertently left to winter over, quickly sprouts and volunteers for this year’s garden. (They need name tags!)

At the men’s event I was reminded how good and kind men can be when transformed by Christ. I was reminded that we truly serve best from our wounded-ness. I was reminded that the anchor of my life is the goodness of God, demonstrated by the life and sacrifice of Jesus. I was reminded that I get distracted from those touchstones, and it is so very good to treat myself to an experience where my resilience can be nurtured.

When I next see a dandelion, I will think of you and pray for your resilience and persistence.

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