A few weeks ago, my gorgeous wife and I spent a wonderful Northwest Summer day celebrating our
29th anniversary. In a few days I will celebrate the day that my AARP card mailings have been seeking to validate...otherwise known as a half of a century of life on this planet. If you are a friend or have read anything from me lately you also know that last month ended 13+ years of serving a wonderful community of faith because 3 days ago we began the journey of nurturing a new one into existence. 10 days from now we move from our home (75 years old,4 bedrooms and a yard) of 12 years to a townhouse (1 month old, 2 bedrooms and a sidewalk). Whether you can keep up on all of the math or not, you must be able to sense a climate of change in our life.
As my wife and I have reflected on all of this during a number of happy hours recently, one thing continues to resonate with us. The only thing predictable about our journey is that it tends to be very unpredictable. We are both alright with that, the planner in me and the seat of your pants in her. If you don't stop to take it all in once in awhile, you could virtually miss it all...or at least much of the important parts.
In my pastoral artist role over the years, one continuing theme seems to span nearly everyone that I encounter, young or not, nice house or not, employed or not, married or not. The theme is searching. We who consider ourselves to be followers of Jesus, if we are not careful, can tend to look at others who are not as the ones "searching" or "lost". More often than not its denial, destructive, or just plain crap. My experience is that ALL of us are searching or lost to some degree. Failed and flailing more often than we care to admit.
As I look forward and back, past, present, and future I can see it in my own life. The road to recovery begins with acknowledgment so I'll begin by acknowledging that I am always searching. The difference, over the years, has become what I am searching for. Its not hope, love, or meaning. Those I have found through Jesus, my wife and my family, along with an assortment of characters who have come, gone, or remained in my story. What defines my searching always seems to be the idea of living life itself, with everything that it offers. When my wife and I look back on our life to date and contemplate the days before us, we are in total agreement that something that can never be said about us is that we didn't live life with everything that we have. I am satisfied with that. As 50 approaches, I am looking forward to far more than an AARP discount. I am looking forward to living the next decade with more abundance that even these past ones. It might just take me a bit longer to get going or a bit longer to recover...but I'm going to do it. We are going to do it. Living life more abundantly is still searching to some degree...but its in the right direction. Ironically (or not) the one we follow is the one who has promised it to us.