I will be 62 next month. At this time of life I pictured myself being ready to settle back, relax and let the younger people do things. I guess I imagined that I would have accomplished every thing important to do by now. How wrong I was. In some ways this seems to be a new beginning for me. Things that were important to me in my 20’s and 30’s seem no longer very relevant or at least as important as they once were.
When I was in my 20’s the church I attended installed a new associate pastor. She had just graduated from seminary and was beginning her career in God’s service. She was 60!! I thought my gosh what is she doing…how can she want to be starting something like this at her advanced age. How unaware I was then of how much the “older generation” still has to offer.
A few months ago Gary Kennedy came to me with the suggestion that Michael and I become “Lay Persons assigned” here at Haven UM. Michael was thrilled…he and I both had talked about feeling a “call” many times. But now that the moment was here… I hesitated… “Am I really ready for this?” Michael had preached here several times and we had come to love this congregation and this community. But really? This now…at our age?
But I very quickly got caught up in Michael’s enthusiasm. Why not, I thought…now or never I thought as I jumped into this ministry closing my eyes and holding my nose and feet first just as I jumped into the cold waters of Lake Mokoma where my family went on those long ago summers. And, just like at the Lake the experience has proved to be worth overcoming the fear.
I know it has been a short while but I believe that I am viewing things much differently now. God has always been a very important part of my life…growing up as a preacher’s kid, I long ago had learned the importance of putting God first in my life. First before everything, before work, before family, before friends. I prayed each night when I went to bed. We said grace at (almost) every meal. But had it become more of a habit than a need. More of a “way of life” than an essential part of my life.
I have been reflecting on this recently…where had the excitement gone?
My mother told me a while back that every morning when she wakes up she recites…”This is the day that the Lord hast made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”. What a wonderful way to begin the day! Thanks to this “late in life calling” I am feeling that excitement again. I have jumped in the cold clear water and re-emerged feeling refreshed, excited and ready to face a new life, a new challenge and a new direction. Some days it will still be put one-foot in front of the other and get things done as before, but now I feel a new richness and the possibilities are endless. I hope you feel that way too.