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 amazon.com, Q&A with the Author
lord of life’s seasons
at a funeral
in my hometown
from thirty-five years ago
recalling propitious times
the launching pad
for family and career
and a wonderful church family
if only I could rewind time
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
surely there will be weeping
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
Thursday, March 12, 2020
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,
Accept their help.
Find support and comfort and restoration.
May this blessing become your truth. Amen.