I am one more blessed man!
Thought I would lead off with that reality. I have great friends, new friends, old friends, puzzled by my need to share friends. "Why can't you just be normal", friends. "Why don't you just retire" friends.
I have a faithful wife, soon celebrating fifty years of daily ups and downs with this clown she married. A wife who even when she knows I am dieting, picks up one of those small brown bags with four fresh oatmeal raisin cookies, on the way out of Walmart! She doesn't say anything, she just puts them where she knows I am prone to look when foraging for a late evening snack, when I smell that last pot of decaf she always makes before bedtime.
Oh, we have had our share of nightmares from early on, when we were trying to launch our mutual careers as educators, even trying to make sense of our spiritual lives. The latter seemed imposed upon us, in a loving way that neither of us in our adolescent years would have chosen on our own.
Perhaps this calling that we now walk in was crafted by those early days of doing what we were told by "men and women of God." Sometimes inconvenient to our family schedule, some frankly done while kicking and screaming. Our ministry assignments were often more like chores assigned by our parents, rewarded in our hearts and often in our "hands" each time we accomplished them, though seldom fully knowing that our destiny was being crafted days ahead.
Yet here we are in our mid-70's, fully provided for with great stories in our spiritual "back packs," some even miraculous. Our spiritual energy and vision are unabated, now more focused on leaving a legacy than ladder climbing. Our physical frames seem somewhat less capable, but do we ever have some rich moments of conversation.
Where is all this going in reality, neither of us know! My wife is the more settled of the two, maintenance oriented so as to provide a place, no multiple places for practicing her gift of hospitality. Not just our daughter's family with our precious grands, but often those in crisis, seeking some respite that money can't buy. Moreso than ever, much younger folk, seeking a place for unpacking life, a place for processing curves and hills that we have already climbed! Cabin Talks!
I'm a blessed man, now preparing for another season, even years in service to others in a way that our early chores prepared us for.