As I write this, I'm actually not there yet. Will I feel differently when that day in May really comes? Will I think I've made it, that now I can take a rest, maybe not care so much, sort of lay down my arms, as though the battle days are over?
Actually the battle days go on to the end. They did for Jesus. And we are following Him.
He knew the end was near at hand. Jesus knew His time had come. John 13 says, "for we knew that His hour had come to depart from the world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."
His work was love. His destiny was love. He couldn't stop loving them. He kept right on living the life of love, and doing the work of love. It was why He was called. It was His great vision. It wouldn't be over until it was over. Even on the cross - in the middle of dying, He said to the thief beside Him, who had said, "Lord, remember me when you enter into your kingdom." "Verily, verily, I say to you, this day you will be with Me in Paradise."
Loving, promising healing, right to the end.
I can't see 90 as the time to stop loving, to stop caring, to stop living. God will end my life when He's ready, and when He's determined I'm ready.
I think the joy and wonder of life beyond 90, is just that: Joy and Wonder. To be alive, oh my! To see the dawn come. To look at far hills. To still have friends who want to talk and ruminate about life and its meaning. To hold Molly's hand and Jesus' hand. To do what I can. To write a letter. To say love to people. To write down thoughts, and reflections, maybe even another book. To listen to people over coffee, or by the fire. To pray with them. To be an encourager.
To have that lunch with Rachel, or that philosophical conversation with Billy. To go to Arthur's concert. To visit with big John.
So simple. Maybe that's the thing: Simplicity. The love my children need, caring about their lives. Helping as I can.
Maybe declaring as I can, the things I know to be true. To read the Bible. To hold it up. To offer it again to my dear family. To get Molly to read to me on a summer night by the fire.
At sunset time, to paddle my own canoe up Pine River. To look at flowers. To sing as sometimes they ask me, ""Ossipee, My Ossipee." "Though far from thee their feet may roam, they'll ne'er forget their mountain home. But love and guard and work for thee, Ossipee, my Ossipee."
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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