(The Real Story by TD)
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Once upon a time in an enchanted land of forests & mountains called Colorado, a prince was born named Zach-hartha. As the only son of the King & Queen - and as a child of the mountains, he lived a bodacious life – hiking / riding / skiing / running over hill and dale. When he became a young adult, he journeyed to the state University in a town curiously named after a very large rock. He always wondered why anyone would name a town after a large rock. Then one day, while pondering that question he met a beautiful young woman named Lydia.
They dated, and then the young prince proposed and they married and in time they were blessed with a spirited, red-maned prince of their own named Henry, whom no one except me has ever called him “Hank.” And Prince Zach-hartha and Princess Lydia and their young offspring Henry lived a wonderful life in the town named after the large rock - until one day an invitation arrived.
"Zach-hartha, you have lived the charmed life of a mountain prince all these years, hiking / riding / skiing / running. We beckon you to step beyond your comfortable kingdom of the very large rock and become a flatlander in LAKE FOREST and LAKE BLUFF – also places with boring, geographical names.”
“But what will I do?” asked Zach-hartha.
“You will be a minister. Therefore, you will spend thousands of hours and thousands of dollars at local coffee shops. You will work long hours - yet people will still wonder what you do. You will learn the fine art of BBQ from Rodney and win a highly sought-after crown."
And, you will ride your bike from the south side of Lake Forest 3 miles to your children’s school pulling them in a Burley behind you in 25 degree weather. And the parents chatting in the parking lot will say 'who is that man?' And one will say 'that is Zach-hartha – he’s from the town of the very large rock in the land called Colorado.' And another will reply ‘Ah, that explains it.’”
“In the flatlands you will pray for snow in the winter to use your skinny skis, and the closest thing to moguls will be potholes. And you will bring your Airstream from the mountains to the flatlands - where it will become yard art. Most of all, as awesome people - you will meet, love, and be loved by awesome people.”
So, Zach-hartha and Lydia said “what the heck?” and they packed up young Prince Henry & their stuff and moved from the town of the very large rock to the flatlands.
And there he did ministry & she did law and they welcomed a joy-filled Princess named Frances to their family. And as flatlanders they did much for their church and community and Open Lands and for all kinds of people - whether a friend or a meditation mentor was needed.
But after 44 months they decided to return to the Enchanted Land of Colorado, to a new town named after the King of the Jungle, north of the town of the very large rock.
And as they leave they do so with heads held high:
- for having courageously said “yes” to the flatland adventure
- for leaving the church and community both better places by virtue of their service
- and, for having loved and becoming loved –
And, because of their courage and their service and their love
they will always be a part of, and always be home
at the Community Church -
and in the flatland kingdom of Lake Forest, and Lake Bluff. - TD