Some countries have the tradition of the running of the bulls. Medicine Lodge, Kansas has a unique one this time of year involving a wheat truck, Super Soakers, and celebrating. I don’t know when it began or who started it, but it is definitely a rite of passage. Picture this with me.
One spring afternoon while quietly sitting at your desk, you hear a cacophony of screams. The sound travels like a wave moving down the street. You think “what the dickens?” and go out to see what ever could it be. Screams like that can not be good. Slowly passing by is a wheat truck, packed to capacity with the current Senior Class. They have just completed the curriculum requirements, handed in uniforms, and paid the pesky library fines. Their time at MLHS is put to rest, except for that one last robed walk across a temporary stage on the football field to pick up that much earned piece of paper. Usually some dad gets the privilege of chauffering this middle-american chariot. They are decked out in swimsuits, armed with anything that will hold water. As they take their final pilgrimage through the town, they shoot each other, cars, whoever and whatever that crosses their path. People come out of houses and businesses to cheer them on. Moms of Seniors grab cameras and random tears fill their eyes as they try to capture that one soggy moment. For a short window of time, the seat belt and ‘not riding in the back of vehicles’ rules are ignored. Out of town visitors scratch their heads and wonder what has overtaken this weird little town. Once they get it, they laugh and are glad to see kids are having some harmless Mayberry fun.
Harmless fun is what it seems, but something bigger is going on. This tradition brings the entire class together-athletes, musicians, and those that weren’t involved in anything. Those have coasted through and those that worked for everything they got. Those that fit in and those that didn’t quite. Ones who seemed to have the world by the tale and those who will surprise everyone and actually rope it and tie it to a tree. They come together in a time of celebration of who they are, what has been accomplished, and the potential of what the future holds. They are one.
My hope and prayer for the body of Christ is that we take a life long lesson from our screaming, waterlogged graduates. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5.