You'd think that would be the desire of every human, making some impact for the sake of posterity, leaving a measure of lasting value upon this earth. After all, you represent a piece of God that passes your understanding!
You say, surely lives truly loved and offspring nurtured is enough? Well, somehow that never seems quite enough for me, as there are always new lessons learned, if one does not fear failure, your learnings unique in many ways.
As quoted earlier, "I want to be totally used up when I die." (George Bernard Shaw).
My life has been quite adventurous thus far, at least relative to those kinfolk whom I recall from my childhood. Yet with every generation each knows their own blessings and opportunities which to launch out upon, as well as sufferings to wrestle through, thus hopefully becoming stronger and wiser than ever their ancestors, at least in their own eyes.
I am never quite sure of myself as a child but now certainly want to believe for some nugget of value found by those who stumble upon my writings.
My life has been a pivotal journey from the near poverty experienced by my parents. My greatest blessing perhaps, a well determined father figure and a mother devoted to her faith. Both in many ways deprived of what life has afforded their children. Then again, both blessed relative to their parents. Dad's family found themselves virtually homeless after the Great Depression with the loss of their family farm to overdue taxes.
Mom's story perhaps even more treacherous, abandoned by her mother shortly after birth, left to the mercy of whichever grandparent would briefly take her in, both sets lived long bus rides apart.
On her dad's side, old line German Lutheran immigrants, whose family lived in a rock quarrying town called Faith, of all places. Her maternal grandparents, a first generation Pentecostal preacher family, who moved quite often while planting churches. Yes, Mom was truly raised in Faith!
Once the Lutheran relatives tired of her presence, having other mouths to feed, given that her dad was away in the Army and later living with another woman, she as a child would be given a bus ticket and sent back to her Pentecostal grandparents miles away.
She did pick up quite the talent on the piano, playing in various churches as a young teen. This by the way provided my first memories of church as a child. I can almost smell the carpet that I lay upon under the church's piano, resting on a blanket behind the privacy cloth underneath the piano she played. By the way, her mom eventually, remarried and lived a life dramatically changed by the Lord.
From those humble beginnings, my soon to be WWII Navy veteran dad would marry the beautiful teen girl he saw on the sidewalk of the church across the street. They had by then moved into their second rental house, the first burned to the ground with all its contents.
After the war, four children were raised. I was one of them.
I was a first generation college kid who loved the outdoors, a treasure reinforced by the sound of a pack of hounds chasing their prey each time I was invited to hunt on the small farm of a dear uncle. No surprise, that providence and impatience would land me in the shortest line in the college gymnasium on registration day. I would end up with a degree in biology, with certifications in chemistry and math.
That led to fifteen years as a public-school school science teacher, the furtherest thing from my mind when my friend, Larry first told me that he planned on going to college. I had never considered such, but got in line with him that day outside the guidance office. We both signed up for the same school, as I hardly knew the name of an educational institution to begin with!
Now fifty some years later, that first step has open doors for me in five major sectors, with two additional advanced degrees and a deep love for learning.
Now that this Christ follower has matriculated through stints in education, religion, numerous non-profits, municipal governance and several small business ventures, I hope to share what each sector has taught me, especially as relates to my faith, one quite challenged of late.
But once again, I'll give you the reader a brief pause, while I take a break myself to settle my thoughts!
If by chance you are a first time reader, the last three posts seem now to frame a series, perhaps the bulk of my. next book, one that explores spiritual practicality in a day when mere religion seems in decline.