"And those who err in spirit will come
and those who grumble will accept
___ Isaiah 29:24
It's good to be fifty-nine years old because there are a lot of years to look back
on. Kierkegard said "We live our lives forward but we understand them looking
back." I use that quote a lot, in fact it hangs on my office wall because
too often I want to have a full understanding of what is happening today, today.
Many experiences require both time and space before they can be understood.
Joe and I often talk about how blessed we feel, in that, at the ages of thirty-eight
and thirty-five we had separate but significant experiences of the Holy Spirit
that helped us in being fairly sure of what God was calling us to. Simply stated,
we were called to be "kingdom people." In today's reflection Fr. Richard
talked about the kingdom of heaven among us now. He said, "One wonders why we make it into a reward system for later and then
he quotes our friend Brian McLaren who refers to the understanding many have
of the kingdom as a "divine evacuation plan."
I have been talking with a new friend lately about leaving the second half of life
and moving into what I am calling "my legacy years." It is a bittersweet
experience. One that I really don't have a lot of words for yet. But in the proceess
I am aware that I am not angry, or bitter, or scared and I have few regrets.
I wish I could say that the same is true for everyone I know who is approching
this last part of life. But I cannot. There are folks, good people I know, who
just could never step far enough away from the false happiness and fulfillment
the world promises. It is a struggle for all of us at times, but for some the
hour is growing near and transformation is still in the distance. Please don't
think that I am suggesting that I have done anything perfectly, because that
is far from the truth. But I have landed on my feet as I approach sixty and I
have enough inner freedom to keep following the lead of the Holy Spirit, even
though I have no idea where we are going.
Fr. Richard said, "The price for real transformation is high. It means that
we we have to change our loyalties from power, success, money and control to
the Lordship of Jesus and the kingdom of God." Perhaps you don't push against
any of these. But I do.
The Question: What in your life gives you false happiness and fulfillment and prevents
you from letting God's truth break into your life?
The answer for me, hands down, is control!