Driving home from the county of oranges and housewives yesterday the car was pretty quiet. I had mandated the day before that anyone sitting "shotgun" should be prepared to stay awake the whole drive or switch seats with someone. R-girl did a fabulous job, though there were a few moments I wondered if she had decided to take a quick little rest. There was the endless game of "spot an out of state license plate and smack the person next to you" that kept us all going though. Lots of people from Arizona on the road. And motorcycles. We were stuck in traffic for awhile and were being passed by many motorcyclists...we finally started counting them and were well into the 50's before I found a place to turn around and take a different road.
There are some things rolling around in my head that I want to talk about but some are not quite fully formed yet, so for now I'm just going to list somethings that I found interesting at the conference and get back to y'all later!
- Bottled water is out for me. I'm committing to eliminating my use of bottled water and sticking to tap water...or the stuff that I get in big reusable bottles that sits in a jar in my office. What I'm really eliminating is the single use bottles. Too much pollution and questionable bottling practices. Not to mention the questionable practices of the companies in aquiring land and the resources.
- Free trade does not equal fair trade. In fact from what I gleaned from this conference, free trade ain't all it's cracked up to be...though I kind of had that one figured out before hand.
- Our ideas about humanitarian aid aren't bad, but they need to be evaluated for effectiveness. Newsflash...goverments can be corrupt!
- Giving money to feed people vs. giving money to educate people.
- Using language that's respectful to all people and how our descriptions of people groups plays a part in their view of themselves.
There's more but the two things that have come out of this conference that I'm really pondering on are these...
- Is it possible for us in society to stop debating with each other and really start listening to each other. My friend Randy just published a book called "Your Ministry of Conversation" that got me thinking about this topic. I'm noticing more and more the people who are willing to listen, the people who just want to debate and the people who just write other's thoughts and feelings off because they don't agree. I'm still wrestling with this a little but this has also lead me to...
- The one thing that I kept hearing over and over this week was "we need to get young people into the church". Now, I'm not disagreeing with that statement, however, there are some people who said this right in front of some "young people" and then proceeded to shoot down all those young people's thoughts and ideas. Yeah...how effective is that?? More to come on this subject.
But probably the best thing to come out of this conference was the opportunity to sit around a meal table 3 times a day with 4 college students, one high school student and two other fabulous adults as we shared about our day, the things we were learning or just laughed and laughed and laughed. Thanks county of oranges and housewives. We had a great time...oh! and the mouse kingdom was excellent too!