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The Thing About Life Is...

Updated: Feb 22

Yesterday was a different kind of day.

Retrospective is the word that comes to mind. Much of the day, in-between necessary meetings, my head was reflecting on where life had taken me, as well as the voices allowed to speak into my life.

My life has been blessed, but not without struggle and with struggle comes growth!

My days are usually well planned weeks before, and begin very early. Yesterday, I had only enough time to do my personal devotions, read the thoughts of the few folk that I follow, and post a brief piece on social media.

I have somehow felt led to post something each day for months now. Hopefully, my age can add value to those who come behind me.

The piece selected was a clip from Dr. Barbara A. Holmes:

"As we age, we begin to take into account what really matters in life. Things like family, relationships, love, commitment, and service to others are what matters. When we start focusing on those things, it no longer becomes just a church phrase to say or something to do. Working with others really warms our hearts. Leading with love changes who we are."

I then was off and about my day, wrapping it up last evening with a small group, to whom we have made a six week commitment to explore Legacy.

When I was growing up, I don't recall ever hearing that word. Life seemed more about getting to school on time, then unwinding with friends in the neighborhood and homework! Of course on Wednesday nights and all day Sunday it was church for our house. Any time in between was consumed by working in the yard or pitching bricks to masons with my dad on days out of school.

I was taught more about work ethic than quality of life, and church only seemed to be about preparation for an unannounced exit, sure to come at any point. We did not want to be "left behind."

In between my hustle yesterday, we picked up my 4th grade grandson from elementary school. I can't believe how time is passing, but we did have some treasured time together, a couple hours.

The new, near adult sized seesaw that I constructed seems where he wants the two of us to spend that time.

In between this old man providing him with hard bounces, when the hinged oak plank pivots against the half-buried car tire, we rest. As he sits high, myself weighting the seesaw down, he then asks me to tell him stories about my childhood. These moments are more precious to me than even the most enjoyable of adult gatherings.

Sowing seed would be the language of scripture, legacy the objective. His "exit" preparation now seems better left in the hands of the God who loves this young boy even more than I.

Fear based religion, though well intended by my forefathers is a distraction from the life we were designed to fully unpack while on this earth.

I only wish my grandparents had known what I now do, but how could they, themselves focused primarily on getting food on the table. They grew up hard, threatened by a religion extracted from a text they often opened, yet preached by those hardly skilled in the art of translation.

Were it not for the unexplainable miracles witnessed personally in my Pentecostal rearing, I would likely be totally unchurched myself.

My guess is church without the occasional demonstration of a Higher Power will be less successful in the days ahead for generations now fully equipped to access centuries of knowledge at their finger tips, sufficient to explain almost any phenomenon.

However one was raised, life requires generational exposure to unlearn much of what we are told, and then relearn by way of personal experience. With each generation comes an opportunity for progress and prosperity. My 75 years have well convinced me of this!

I'm sure, just as global set backs driven by the two World Wars, with a Depression in between framed much of my family values. My grandson and his children will surely experience their own near defeat moments, "if the Lord tarries".

My perspective has shifted tremendously as I listen to the undercurrent of the next generation of believers. Some throwing the Babe of Bethlehem out with the proverbial church wash, while others are bringing value to the Body of Christ having left the literalistic, fixed dogma forced upon them as children.

In case you are wondering, my devotion to this God of the Galaxies remains firm. However, my Pauline driven thoughts have respectfully escaped his Third Heaven limits.

"Life be lif'n" is a phrase one of my dear friends often shares and this disciple sure be learning!

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you always make us stuff to think about and for that I am grateful. Hope you and your bride have a wonderful day

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