The retirement countdown clock my son gave me for Christmas reads 76 days.
Plus or minus a few days depending on what day it really happens.
For sometime now I (and others) have known this day was coming.
The last several months and the next 76 days or so are something of an unraveling.
Learning to let go.
Learning to step away.
From programs and details which have been so much a part of my life for so long.
The tendency for much of my life has been to say yes.
Yes we can try this.
Yes we can do this.
Yes I will help.
Today, I pry back my fingers and force myself to let go.
The meetings and the details are easy.
The dreaming about tomorrow and what we might do…
I can’t even begin to go there.
I really do.
I write and preach first to myself.
(The only way I know how to do it!)
And then hope my musings and my questions resonate with others.
I try to not ask others to consider or to do what I am not willing to do myself.
But, one place (among many, I am sure) where I fall short is with this commandment.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
I am not talking about Saturdays or Sundays, but about sabbath time.
Time set aside when I allow myself to just stop.
To just rest.
To just be.
I am much better at doing.
At filling the moments I have with the demands of my list.
Only to arrive at this moment,
Which is here now and never again,
What if every time the President said something that was clearly not true, the news channels cut to a different political leader responsibly discussing an issue.
What if every time those who speak for the President dismiss legitimate questions or blame someone else we all turn the station or the page or just walk away.
What if we just quit feeding the frenzy or participating in the craziness?
The stakes are high.
And, I don’t know what the balance is.
But is it news when the President makes fun of people or calls other people names or intentionally says what is not true or has all this become more a soap opera?
Years ago, I had the privilege of serving as President of our local Board of Education. There were three or four people who at each meeting got up to “air their criticisms and critiques of the decisions we were making.” They often did so in a derogatory fashion which included calling us and school administrators names. After a while I told them they were free to express whatever opinions they would like, but if and when they began to use language which we would not allow students to use I would cut off the microphone and and the video and stop the meeting. They didn’t believe me until I did it. After several meetings, they got the message.
This past week
For hours each day
Farm animals, and
Came alive on the floor of our living room.
Transformed from plastic into real
By the imagination of our 3 1/2 year old grandson.
He could see it all.
I could not.
But I could watch.
And, I did.
I, too, imagine something different
Than what I see and experience right now
On my living room floor
Or in the world around me.
In words I use on a regular basis
I imagine a world where all have enough and all have a place.
Jesus talked about what he called the Reign of God.
And told those who would listen
That it was
Or could be
Right here and right now
If we could only see it.
My grandson saw dinosaurs come to life on our living room floor.
In some way today
May I bring to life what my imagination sees.
Today’s quote from Sojourners:
There are two basic motivating forces love and fear.
When we are afraid we pull back from life.
When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. – John Lennon
Is that true?
That the opposite of love is not hate, but fear?
Fear of what comes next.
Fear of those who are different.
Fear of what we do not know.
Fear of losing what we do know.
If that is so, would that change how we respond to others?
Instead of working to overcome hate, we would seek to alleviate fear.
What questions would we ask?
What attitude would we adopt?
What would we do different than what we are doing now?
What strength I have
Presence in the loneliness of the moment.
Hand to steady you when you fall.
Shoulder on which to cry.
Embrace when you have forgotten who you really are.
Reminder that you matter. To me. And to many.
Protector when you feel fragile.
Mender to help piece together the scattered shards of life.
Companion as together we stumble towards some distant promise of light.