So today I restart the blog, the pleasure of thinking out loud on paper (or somewhere up in the clouds). I stopped writing the blog when what was going on inside me was not something I wanted to just broadcast. Life got tough for a while, a few bumps and curves, and I was more concerned with the “living through” than with the “writing about”. But last Fall I started writing again when I went into the hospital for my second hip replacement. Some of it I have to admit is illegible, as the pain meds have only improved since my first hip replacement.
Writing first thing (most) every day since then seems to have primed a pump, until earlier this year I started getting inspired again. Stories started forming, and I found myself wanting to tell them. The grandchildren aren’t really old enough for my stories yet, so I tried putting them on paper. But then, where to put them? Then it dawned on me, “Hey, you used to have a blog!” And when I looked it was still there, just waiting.
The thoughts I wrote today are not the thoughts from earlier this year. They are for today. I recently read that one thing about retirement (or did he say old age?), is that you have more time to think. Plus, you have more experiences to think about. This is what I was thinking about this morning.
I was part of a young church once (yes, I was young once), and there began to be a growing discontent among the singles as they saw their friends pairing up, marrying, having babies. So at an evening meeting the pastor brought a teaching addressing the issue. Among other things, he pointed out that there were both advantages and disadvantages to being single and to being married, and he started making four lists up on the board (for context, a chalkboard).
Of course, the singles could easily recognize the advantages of being married. This was, after all, what they had been dwelling on. So it was no surprise to them to see the pastor, who was himself a young married, list the blessing of having a mate, someone to love, plan and share your life with, build a family with, someone to say “good night” and “good morning” to, as a positive of being married. He said on a practical level, “marrieds” have someone with whom they can share responsibilities and expenses. They also are pretty much guaranteed to have someone to go on a date with!
But perhaps not many singles had considered the fact that having a partner also meant having to consider someone else in your decision-making, being relatively tied to someone else’s schedule, having to come to agreement on goals and a vision for your life. And of course with that growing family comes increased expenses, more responsibilities, and less “together alone” time. Plus you can’t be as spontaneous with your “let’s get up and go…” ideas when you have feedings, naptimes, bath times and bedtimes to consider.
So, while it was true the “singles” lacked the assurance and pleasure of having a partner in their life, they did enjoy a certain freedom that the “marrieds” just didn’t have. They could plot their course, follow their inspiration with relative ease. They also were more often available to help someone in need, or to join forces with someone else in their plans, to the benefit of all. (Ray Kasch, please comment if I left out something important!).
I say all that to say that the teaching of that night when we were all so young, is more important to me today, in this final stage of my life, than it was to me then. Whereas I do enjoy the freedoms that come with being single, I find myself considering couples I see sharing a later life together, and thinking how blessed they are to have a mate, someone with whom to share both the burdens and the freedoms of this stage of life. And a certain discontent begins to grow. But then I am reminded that to a great degree, the sharing of life’s burdens and pleasures is not limited to having a mate. God has provided help and encouragement to me when needed, love when undeserved, even fun and adventure, from the most unexpected sources.
I am grateful for the freedom and flexibility I have to be “available” for friends, family and the callings the Lord has put on my life. I am also grateful for the quiet times that come. Rather than focus on limitations, I consider the opportunities that lie ahead and around me now, and with expectancy, dream of “what’s next?” The truth is, each day and each moment has its own value. I don’t want to miss seeing it because I was looking for something different, or I didn’t take the time to dig a little deeper for the treasure!
Till next time. Bj.