After the news of my impending retirement, I received many congratulations and questions. "What will you do with yourself?" was by far the most frequently asked. I must say, my current answer sounds rather uninspiring ... "mostly I will putter and putz".
A wonderful email arrived soon after from a parishioner who offered gracious words and a line from a Mary Oliver poem, entitled, "The Summer Day". Oliver's poem ends with a question as did the email... "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" To putter and putz doesn't do that lovely question justice.
Our Living Unafraid Fall Study continues this October. It is a timely theme for most of us and I have found it particularly helpful in this new time of transition for me. I am encouraged by Hamilton's choice of scriptural stories and the reminders of God given tools meant to uphold us through every season of life. As one faces uncertainty with hopes for well-being and meaning, it is good to "stare down the giants" that loom in the promised land of life's next chapter. The age old process of "letting go and letting God" must become more than a mantra, rather a lifestyle.
And inevitably tomorrow has become today.
We all live with fear of the unknown; of what we cannot control and what we cannot fix. There is ready answer however against a life of anxiety..."let your faith be bigger than your fear". To harvest the abundance of faith, I realize ever more that we are in a perpetual season of cultivation. I very much love the idea of "one wild and precious life" growing in the grace of Jesus, the Christ.
Mary Oliver's ode to summer is really spoken to a grasshopper, who she recognizes is filled with the energy of creation and a purpose fully known by God.
I am not that grasshopper to be sure, but I will find confidence and hope - faith even - in being also filled with the energy of this wondrous creation and a purpose known and cultivated by God, his will to become known.
Living Unafraid is not to live without fear. It is to be unafraid because we live with the harvest of courage, promised by God, watered by others, and nurtured by the Spirit. Isaiah 41:10 -
"Do not be afraid because I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will surely help you;
I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.
With blessings and gratitude,