Monday, March 23, 2020


As I ease into retirement, I am reading Fr. Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward

Per Rohr (and Carl Jung), there are two halves to a lifetime. Most of our concern in the first half of life is about rising, achieving, accomplishing, performing.*
And in the second half there’s is a shift to spiritual development. Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as "falling upward." In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders who have come to their fullness.*

You can recognize a second half of life person is by a kind of inner outpouring, a kind of inner generativity. They're not guarded. They're not overly self-protected. They're looking for ways to give themselves away, because they're now living out of their abundance, and they find that it's an overflowing wealth.*

That’s aspirational for me. I have much inner work to do! A recent funeral inspired some hope-full thoughts about the seasons of life.

(*) Italicized excerpts from, Q&A with the Author

lord of life’s seasons

at a funeral
in my hometown
with friends 
from thirty-five years ago

recalling propitious times
the launching pad 
for family and career
and a wonderful church family

my self-diagnosis
acute nostalgia
if only I could rewind time

those memories
i’m reminded
were from the first act
the curtain now rises on a second

and the funeral scripture
a time to weep and a time to laugh
a time to mourn and a time to dance
(ecclesiastes 3:4)

surely there will be weeping 
and mourning
but there is more laughter 
and dancing to come

in the sunlit church courtyard
a cohort of grandchildren
chasing and racing 
toward a bright future 

to every thing there is a season
and a time to every purpose 
under heaven
(ecclesiastes 3:1)


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Elijah’s Blessing

Pandemic fears realized, a severe stock market plunge, family travails. It has been a faith-challenging week. 

Studying 1 Kings, I find comfort today in the chapter nineteen story of Elijah’s flight from Queen Jezebel. In fear, Elijah is running for his life, but I hear a blessing in this drama.

For those in a gale or earthquake or fire,
For the fearful and exhausted and despairing,

Hear God’s gentle whisper. 

Notice the angels, 
Discover friends, 
Accept their help.

Find support and comfort and restoration.

May this blessing become your truth. Amen. 

Graphic credit