Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Grow Old

I’m just about to head back into the city, the writing-hiking-biking life of the past 10 days having come to an end. On a hike this past Wednesday afternoon I met Jim and Ed (left to right). They were hiking out as I was hiking in, and I asked them a question, which led to a good long conversation on the trail. Jim arrived in the northwest “courtesy of the US government, during WWII” he said, and went on to add, “When I got off the plane it was raining, the rain washed off the dust of Texas. I said to myself, ‘I’m finished with that Texas dust’ and settled up here.”

These two guys have each put in over 3700 miles over the past 10 years as part of an Alpine Walking Club. Jim’s 81 and Ed’s 83. What I appreciated about these two men was that, in talking with them and looking at their eyes, their countenance, it was clear to me that they were healthy; not just physically, though I hope that I’m hiking 370 miles a year when I’m 83. They were healthy at a more holistic level. I don’t know what it takes to be like them: so interested in other people, so physically active, so well read, and so upbeat and optimistic, into one’s 80’s as these two are. But I suspect it entails being that when you’re 50, or 40, or 30, and never letting go of it. That seems to be these best way.

And so we parted ways, and I pondered and prayed, in the midst of the stunning beauty that is the trail to Lake Ann. “Life is indeed short. God, I pray that you will shape me so that I can, as the Psalmist says, ‘number my days’. I want to make the most of every day left, using gifts, facing the issues that are hindering me from serving You more fully, being more honestly engaged in relationships with family, friends, staff at work, neighbors. Shape me Lord, so that the days that remain are increasing days that are wholly Yours to express through Me whatever you desire!”

Vacation over… wedding rehearsal tonight.


At 24/8/07 15:59, Blogger Kristin said...

So timely, this post, as I read it today after celebrating a birthday. Beautiful scenery, refreshing time away. How rewarding I know those times can be. And yet, sadly, I don't know that I would have stopped and made space for that conversation with strangers. Thank you for the reminder to truly appreciate every moment we are given. To be open to the possibilities in each one. Another year under my belt, I will take this bit of wisdom with me as I embark on the next.


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