It has been a while since the cacophony which I call life has moved me to write. Each morning feels somewhat like I would perceive the life of a groundhog, peeking up from his hole in a moment of discernment. Should he move further into the day or duck back down into dormancy? Yet in his gut is the gnawing hunger for more of what he found outside the hole the day before, so he pursues life once more.
I find this somewhat different than my earlier years, when I truly sprang from the bed, grabbed life by the throat with a passion, intent on strangling every ounce out of every day. I actually didn’t desire more sleep but when I did sleep, I got more rest. Something is happening that I cannot deny. Even those around me are adapting.
I am not proud of what is happening, for it is not what I would have ever aspired to, nor dreamed that I would concede to. My wife contends with a sharper tone in my response, my daughter, a more hurried attention, as I move from minute to minute. I sense it, but seem unable to change the next time around. This may be God’s strategy behind grandkids, for John Luther can shut it all down with one look and a smile.
The pressure is actually less than before, yet now seems greater than I know it truly is. The pull at my leisure time is greater as well, for I have more people in my life, more things do and a growing awareness of less time with which to do them.
This morning, I have the privilege of going fishing with my kid brother. The time has been long planned, since his recent hospitalization. His life is now on the upswing from a near death experience. Yes, he is a senior citizen as well!
Simultaneously, I am reading a book that seems to be speaking to my generation. “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande. The author confronts his readers with the reality that we have lost sight of our humanity. Longevity has become our pursuit, supported by a trade that was once more guided by the Hippocratic Oath than the financially incentivized “managed care.”
Meanwhile, a similar morphing has occurred in the institutional church. Repeated feedback from the next generation demonstrates a deep need for transformation, society reinforcing our failure. Our generation has acquired more wealth, enjoyed more toys than any before, and yet done far less than the former at making the globe safer and more accommodating for all.
In case the reader is growing concerned, there is a refreshing fountain in my life, the scriptures. They continue to bring hope each morning, with a much simpler message than religion has made it out to be. Here, I find a retreat, an untapped reservoir of understanding for the complexities of life. How can that be, given that I have read this same book so many times?
How do I unpack what I have learned, benefit those whom I most love and reserve time for the relationships that are so dear?
It’s time to go fishing again!