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Ever in transition that we cannot control

by davesandel on July 20th, 2022

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

            (click here to listen to or read today’s scriptures)

Ever in transition that we cannot control

Monday night at Bunny’s: watching Marc work, talking to Jesse and Mark and Tan … I’m getting to know several people who hang out on the barstools on the way to Tuesday.

“What’s your connection with Bunny’s?” Jesse asked. I pointed to Marc. “He’s my son.” She sounded so very happy when I told her that. She’s a computer expert recently arrived, and her parents are professors. Her dad is dean of computer science at Georgia Tech in his third (fourth) re-emergence. Like me, he is seventy-two.

“What the heck are you doing, Dad?” But she says he loves his work. He got really bored playing golf every day. I love my work too, and much of the reason is that I don’t have time to get rooted in my sore body, forgetful mind, and aging memories. Too many of my friends and clients have stories from the three decades since the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, when what feels like “most” of my life took place. Growing up, our kids born and growing up themselves, traveling, learning the art of marriage. When I do have a few days to myself, I can settle too quickly into this kind of quicksand:

More or Less

I didn’t notice until it was much too late

that I had taken residence in the old stage of life.

It didn’t ask my consent, stalking stealthy as a lion.

It came unremorseful, unrelenting, unforgiving, unyielding.

Feelings of resentment, loss and disdain

fill the place where energy used to flow.

I crossed this threshold in a long amorphous moment,

perhaps more than a year,

my denial gave it room to take root and flourish.

Most surprising is that though I had witnessed this change in others,

the judgment that blamed them assured me that my fate would be different.

Now I am painfully reminded that we are all more or less the same,

weak and strong,

vulnerable, dependent and interconnected,

human and divine,

ever in transition that we cannot control. – Clarence Heller

Jeremiah is one of my heroes. But I wish I knew more about him. What I do know is how God scooped him up when he was a teenager and put him right to work.

To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you. Then the Lord extended his hand and touched my mouth.

His family was surprised when he took to the streets and spoke up against the priests, of which his father was one. His family turned against him as Jesus’ family initially turned against Jesus. His former friends threw him into a cistern where others wanted to leave him to die. But his friends returned and pulled him up. Midway through his ministry, Jeremiah cried out to God, accusing Him, “You seduced me, and I was seduced!” He has so little encouragement for his own people that their enemy king thanks Jeremiah for his help in defeating them.

I place my words in your mouth! This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms, to root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.

Thank God for those last five words. If he can speak out and then outlast the pain, terror, persecution and hatred of his people, then at long last, in his old age, he will be allowed “to build and to plant.”

You are my hope, O Lord, my trust O God from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength.

Susan Cooper writes of the “old ones,” ageless, living on from century to century, protecting the earth and its people from the Dark – the evil, selfish, creatures bred in the inferno. When Jesus speaks in his parable of the seed which falls on rich soil, and produces fruit, he might be speaking of these old ones, the Light Bringers, those who live out their lives on earth in simple obedience, uncalculated joy, and ageless patience.

One of whom I wish to be.

Some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.

(Jeremiah 1, Psalm 71, Matthew 13)

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