Sunday afternoons, especially ones with thunder rumbles and rain bouncing off the windows make me contemplative. It may also have something to do with my seventieth birthday next weekend. I don’t feel melancholy, just thoughtful, so as usual I turn to exploring again where I am on this road of life, how the devil I got to where I am, and what ever am I to do with myself.
If I call myself a writer, does that mean I am a phenomenal wordsmith, that my stories are profound, that I have good grammar and spelling? No! I call myself a writer because it calms me to write, it thrills me to write and I find fulfillment in writing, that helps me live my life. I cannot image myself not writing, even if it is only stories in my head or even if dementia sets in and I dabble in fantasy.
If I call myself a reader, does that mean I have read Anna Karenina or even half the 100 best books of the decade, let alone this century or the last, because if it does, I am a miserable failure as a reader. Although I have started Anna Karenina multiple times, I cannot get past the halfway point before all the Russian names blur together and I am so busy trying to keep those straight that I lose the story.
If I call myself a friend, does that mean I never fail to say or do the right thing, or to be there when I should be, or that I have never intentionally or unintentionally hurt a friend. Alas! Too many times I have not been the friend I should have been and I expect there will be times like those in the future. Still my friends provide me with love and grace, laughter and fun, hope and faith. There are those I call friend who also call me friend.
If I call myself a sister, does that mean my brothers and I have always stayed close or that we have had frequent reunions. No. But it does mean I love them and want to be there for them and those they love. Siblings hold us close to our past and our future. They are the only ones who really know what life was like growing up in our house in Frederick, OK. Siblings share things no one else ever can.
If I call myself a mother, does that mean I am always nurturing, that I have the raising of children, providing for their every need figured out. I didn’t when I was raising mine so I rarely give child rearing advice. Frankly, I still struggle with motherhood’s astonishing demands, with whether or not they feel loved, and my children are all in their forties.
If I call myself a wife, does that mean I understand the man I have been married to for over 50 years, that I am without dilemma in just how to love this man I have loved for the majority of my life. Fifty years, life with its joys and sorrows, richness and poorness, sickness and health certainly help me be a better wife, but not always.
If I call myself a Christian, does that mean I live in a fortress, surrounded by only those who believe just as I do, that I never doubt, or that I have it all together. God help me if I ever do that or think like that, for I will have strayed far from the reality of what my Lord and Savior died to save me from. Love God, Love others, hate sin, but don’t ever hate the sinner….do I have that down pat? HARDLY! But God is not finished with me yet.
Finally, as I consider all the things I might call myself, I realize none of it matters, if I do not continue to explore, to record, to find out what others are saying, to strive to find time for family and friends, to call my children even when they don’t call me, to enjoy every moment I have with my Man. Most of all, with Jesus at the Center of my life, I can continue to grow up in Love, as I grow old in Body.
The growing old in body is a sure thing, its the growing up in Love that challenges me.