Age.

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
And where you invest your love, you invest your life
Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
For you were made to meet your maker
– “Awake My Soul”, by Mumford and Sons

(On the playlist for my life as I drive around this week…)

Getting older is interesting.

I recently heard the statement “it’s not easy to grow old”.

That’s a true statement.  Aging can be difficult.  Change is not always easy.  Nor is it supposed to be.

When I turned 50 last year, I thought it was great.  I was in India for “In the Long Run”, a project of Oasis India and Oasis Belgium to raise awareness and funds around the issue of human trafficking and women’s rights.  We celebrated together as a team and I came home to a fun celebration in Cincinnati.

I thought 50 was a great round number.  Turning 51 this past month, especially with all of the transitions of the past year, has felt a bit different.  I’m in a process, as my spiritual director tells me, of going deeper, of descending into some of the darkness of my life.  It is in that descending that I’m asking lots of questions, some that may never have answers.

And, in that descent, I am meeting God in a different, deeper, and more intimate way.

Death is not something I’m particularly looking forward to, yet, I also have this kind of weird acceptance of it.  I’m not really afraid of it much these days.  It’s a part of the cycle of birth, life, death, resurrection (in my faith tradition).  Maybe it’s because of my dad’s death earlier this year, or, as a pastor and neighborhood person, I officiate funerals or go to a lot of funerals.

And, I know that growing older can be hard.  There can come a time when something could radically alter life.  But, I am blessed with so many friends who continue to embrace life all around me in their 80’s, 90’s, etc.  These folks inspire me.  They are friends and I can see so much in how they embrace their lives.

As I grow older, I can have a deep beauty, even as I peer into the darkness of my life and the pain of my life and the lives of others.   I can embrace this descent, especially as I realize that I am not alone.  That the Divine Flow of God’s presence and the presence of friends that really believe in me and I in them moves in and out of my life.

I’m finding a deeper sense of what it means to be unitive.  I used to say that I want to keep one foot in the church and one foot in the world.  That feels more “dualistic” these days.  Now I would say both feet are firmly planted in a non-dual way, I am planted in this life, fully aware that I have blind spots and contradictions, and OK with that.  And, I love the church and all of humanity.

It’s hard to stay focused, and that’s OK.  I spend time trying to center, trying to be a good friend, pastor, dad, husband, etc.  But, at the end of the day, I’m me and grateful to live this ridiculously hard, beautiful, gracious, and abundant life.

Which, may part of the meaning of Jesus’ words about living an abundant life in John 10:10.  Life is full of all sorts of good and bad things…growing into this life, embracing the good and the bad, and in the midst seeing beauty while one descends and grows.

So, I’m trying to live in “the Flow”, even as I intend to be faithfully present and  engaged with myself, others, and God…and the work that I’ve been gifted to do and be!

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