Home > Episcopal Church, Family, sabbatical, St. Patrick's > Early morning in Atlanta

Early morning in Atlanta

July 12, 2011

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfaignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, world without end.

It’s quite early in Atlanta. The house I am staying in (we I should say – Joseph and I) is hushed. It sits in the woods on some beautiful land. We’ve seen deer and rabbits and other critters. It’s really pretty.
I copied the General Thanksgiving from Morning Prayer Rite I above as I just finished saying the Office, in addition to staying up (so far, so good) on the “Blended” Bible reading plan from You Version (mentioned in an earlier post on “Bible time”). I have been wondering often on this Sabbatical of offering Morning Prayer at St. Pats once or twice a week once I return. One thing God is speaking to me about during this time away is my “obsession” with numbers – I need to give that up. If one or two folks want to get together to say the Office, then let’s do that. Will discuss with parishioners and leaders when I return. Meanwhile I am enjoying renewing these habits.
Speaking of habits, yesterday was a BLAST! When my girls were young, Jennifer and I brought them to Six Flags yearly. We love the park, and it was always a vacation highlight. For Christmas my Middler year of seminary, my parents gave us a season pass to Six Flags Great America (north of Chicago – we lived in Evanston). That summer we went often, many times just Joseph and I (he was seven years old) would just drive up for the afternoon and ride what we could. I am a Coaster junkie. He was too short then to ride the biggest coasters, Raging Bull and Batman were the fastest and biggest at that park. Then in October of that year, for their “Fright Fest” events, we all went back to the park. Joseph, and this was all his idea, wore his “wheelies” (tennis shoes with roller blade wheels that pop out of the bottom). This gave him just the extra inch he needed to qualify to ride the biggest coasters, and so he did, loving it.
When some of our other summer plans did not quite work out like we had hoped, I decided to take a few days just with Joseph and to revisit Six Flags over Georgia. He had been once – when he was in his mother’s womb!
We really had a fantastic time. We splurged on the “Flash Pass”, which allows you to skip waiting in line for the rides. It’s a really cool system, you reserve your spot in the next ride you want and usually by the time you walk to it, your time to ride is ready and off you go. This allowed us to ride SO many more times. We rode every Coaster they have to offer, some which were quite intimidating I must say. The newest is Devil Dare Drop, which takes you STRAIGHT up (no angle), then drops you at more than vertical, the drop is actually inverted, then sends you through a series of twists and loops. It was good, but not the best. We rode Goliath FIVE times – it’s a huge roller coaster, goes up 20 stories, has almost a mile of track, and reaches over 70 mph! All in all, between the two of us we rode 32 coaster rides, and 12 others (mostly Thunder River which is a raft / rapids / get soaked ride). We rode Superman 3 times – you actually strap in, then you are laid down flat to give the semblance of flying like the Man of Steel. It was GREAT!
Oddly enough we were at the park from opening to closing, and about an hour before closing, as we were about to board Goliath once more, we heard our names being called by riders already on board – it was four of our EYC members! I knew they were going to be in Atlanta this week but had no idea they were doing Six Flags on that day. It’s so strange this was the only time we saw any of them, but it sure was good to see their happy faces! Hey Ginny M, Jonah, Meghan, and Beatrice!
This short trip of special time with my son has been really wonderful, so glad we were able to do it. Today we drive home, then tomorrow I am off again for 3 weeks of writing and study time, followed by a week at a monastery for a silent retreat. The sabbatical is winding down and this phase will be much “quieter” than the first part. I am definitely looking forward to it.

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