Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The second half of life

Just a few days ago I sent the following (by Richard Rohr, a Franciscan), to some of my friends in the second or third parts of their lives. (My friend Kim H  had first posted this on Facebook)

Richard  Rohr from "Falling Upward."
"Just remember this: no one can keep you from the second half of your own life except yourself.
 Nothing can inhibit your second journey except your own lack of courage, patience, and imagination.
 Your second journey is all yours to walk or to avoid.
 My conviction is that some falling apart of the first journey is necessary for this to happen,
 so do not waste a moment of time lamenting poor parenting,  lost job, failed relationship, physical handicap, gender identity, economic poverty, or even the tragedy of any kind of abuse.
  Pain is part of the deal.
 If you don't walk into the second half of your own life, it is you who do not want it.
 God will always give you exactly what you truly want and desire. So make sure you
 desire, desire deeply, desire yourself, desire God, desire everything good, true, and beautiful.
 All the emptying out is only for the sake of a Great Outpouring.
God, like nature, abhors all vacuums, and rushes to fill them."
It's one thing to share words such as these.  It's another thing to believe and live them.  I write so because I have been on the verge of the pity pot in recent days.
(1)  Last Saturday I was with by (almost) 91 year old friend Ben.  He has advanced macular degeneration, and my task was to write the checks for his bills, so that he could sign them, and we could place them in the envelopes etc.
Then I gave him a bonus.  I drove him to Total Wine so that he could re-stock his liquor cabinet.  No big deal for me - a blessing for Ben.
(2) Today I drove my late 70's friend Bob to surgical centre for his cataract surgery, and met him there after the surgery.    Glad to do it!
(3) On Wednesday I am to have dinner with a women I hardly know.  She is a friend of a friend of mine.She endures a lot of pain and loneliness.  Her best friend is away for the summer.

 She phoned me with her invitation.

"Darn", I thought, "that's the last thing I want to do, have dinner with someone I hardly know".  But I accepted her invitation.


Those three happenings propelled me to the pity pot.  I am one of the youngest retirees in "our set", and I began to muse "but who will take care of my when I am old and frail?"
"Grace" drew me back.  For this afternoon I heard from my dear friend Gwen, who in her late eighties,  is about to take another trip to  Iona  (where her soul lives), despite the worries and concerns of her anxious daughters.  (Their anxiety is rooted in deep love).

The Richard Rohr article had strengthened her conviction that another trip to Iona would be an essential

 I replied:  "My dear Gwen, go  for it.  Should it be the case,  it would be better to die joyfully on Iona than to rust away in Lenox, MA".

Gwen's embrace of her second-half journeys give me reason for hope.  I know that if  I do not walk into the second half my life, it sill I who will not want it.

BUT if  I enjoy that walk, there will most certainly be companions on the way.

God grant that I will also enjoy courage, patience, and imagination.


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