Sunday, March 14, 2010
What a Life I Have
What a life I have. Retired. Enough money to live on. Enough money to have what I want, which it doesn't seem like is a lot, but compared to so many others it must be considered a vast fortune. And yet some may think, and I admit I often do, too, that I don't do very much with what I have, and my life isn't that meaningful or productive, and that I don't have that much stuff. At least people in my neighborhood, in my state, in my country might say that. But they don't know what they're talking about if they say something like that; they don't know what the world is really like and how much poverty there is out there and how very rich and blessed I am.
How do you measure something like that anyway --- how well off I am? I don't know, but it seems to me like I have it extremely good. I do pretty much what I want to do, hermit that I am, and I kind of like it that way. I'm always trying to learn something new and push my understanding out there further than it is. Yet I would say that I remain relatively ignorant. I think I am rather slow-witted when it comes to intelligence and lacking when it comes to creative powers. It is difficult for me to find "flow." Some of that probably is innate and some of that is probably because I haven't necessarily applied myself like maybe I could, like maybe I should.
Today we visited another congregation, the congregation of a friend who was returning from doing work for the church across the ocean but not too far away. It was fun to see something different for a change, another congregation, other folks, and to listen to our friends report about what they had been doing the last year, to listen to them delight in their activity, but also to listen to them convey how happy they were to be back home again. As I listened to them, I sensed how very hard they had worked and applied themselves to what they were doing, and I sensed also the great satisfaction they had in so serving. I'm glad for them; I'm happy they enjoyed themselves. They are better people for it.
I am happy too. Although I don't probably do as much as I could do or should do, I'm not going to beat myself up because of what little I do do. I'm not totally content, but I never have been my whole life, and I will plod along and do what I can and see if I can improve even if it's a little bit, realizing that over a lifetime of sixty-one years --- well, almost 62 years --- I am the person I am; I do the things I do. But I have improved. I have learned. I know so much now compared to what I did when I was born it is almost hard to imagine how much I have learned and grown and experienced. Have others done better? Certainly. Have others done worse? Certainly. But I have to measure myself in terms of myself and consider that I am who I am and try to find some solace in all of that.