Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kissing “That Gentle Hand”

There is a time and season for everything writes the author of Ecclesiastes.  There are only 23 days left before the national election (Thank God!) President Obama has 96 days left in office, Christmas is only 70 days away.  Sometimes I wonder how many days I may have left, but I have not been given any inside information on that question.  “Time flies,” we say.  So...while it is day:

This morning as I read William Penn’s words about this special time of retirement in which I am now basking, I kissed (figuratively) “that Gentle Hand” which has led me into it. For those observing me or taking an account of my days this time might appear barren, but it is not so for me.  It has proven to be the most fruitful period of my life—so far.  To have time I can call my own, to have time to view myself and the world (past and present) to ponder what has been and how I’ve “hit and mist the Mark;” to be free to travel the highways and the byways of this great country and to wander about in other parts of this world, to read with abandonment all those books I have always wanted to read, to seek answers to the questions I’ve been asking all my life long, to spend time sitting, watching, and listening to the music of life on my little deck, to plant bulbs and pull weeds, to observe the butterflies and birds in flight, to see the cicada emerge from the dark cavern in which it has lived for 17 years—all this and so much more is a form of liberation that I never dreamed would be mine.  I now know why my mentor, Elton Trueblood, admonished me to  “Hurry up, retire, and be liberated.”

“We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day…” (John 9:4).  My feeble attempt in that work is to share—While It Is Day—and to express what I have tried to do, what I’ve felt, what I’ve tried to think, what I have experienced along the journey way, what I’ve discovered, and what I still search for, what is true, valuable, important and what is not, to share the words of those who have influenced me, guided me, helped me, and supported me, in the hope that I can encourage another person.  This “work” may be the most important service which I can render to another person in this time—while it is day.   This “author blesseth God for his Retirement, and kisses the Gentle Hand which led him into it.”

"Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
who with his love doth befriend thee."

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