Elder Board Math

My father was a math wizard and worked as a bookkeeper. He was constantly running some figures through his head, and I suppose I picked up a bit of that from just living with him.

For some reason while preparing the agenda for yesterday’s monthly Board of Elders meeting, I got to thinking about how many of these and other special elder meetings I have attended since coming to Tri-State Fellowship in 1994. The number is about 245. To put it into more manageable terms, I have spent 8 months of my life attending TSF Board meetings!

And then, on the way home, I started to calculate how many miles of driving I’ve done simply to attend these meetings. That number is in excess of 6,100 miles – which is like driving to El Salvador and back.

But you might say to me, “Randy, that is your job; stop complaining!”

Well, first of all, I’m not complaining. I’ve had the opportunity to work with wonderful men who want to serve God.

And secondly, I’m not writing this to talk about myself, but rather to put the service of someone else into perspective – Tim Thorpe.

Tim joined the Elder Board during my first year in Maryland, and has been a part of it ever since. And in that he is essentially my neighbor – who lives the same distance from church as do I – Tim has been to nearly as many meetings and driven as many miles. And his rewards are not here, but over there!

Tim is going to take a leave of absence from the Board of Elders. Do you think he has earned it? All of you who know him know that he goes through life about 100 miles per hour. The guy has earned a break! But we know he’ll be back again before too awfully long.

Tim Thorpe stories abound. Here is one: In his first year as an elder, Tim did what most of the other elders did that year – speak on a Sunday morning. This was a new experience for him! I have no memory of what he actually talked about, but I remember the coke can. He walked up front (at Northern Middle School – before our building was completed) with a coke can in this hand, and never let go – gesturing with it for 30-40 minutes without realizing he had it. During the sermon he told the story of how he was riding his bicycle one day near Interstate 70, and how he was deep, deep in thought that day. It was a mile or so down the Interstate when it dawned on him that he had absent-mindedly gone right up the ramp and onto the shoulder without even realizing it!

There is only one Tim Thorpe in the world! And I am thankful for his years of service and friendship.

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