My father was 85 when he was killed on a Texas highway. Another car plowed into his from behind. The other car was driven by a nurse late to work and heavily medicated. She survived with minor injuries.
My father was working at the time of his death. That’s not surprising to me. He grew up in a poor single parent family during the depression. He and his siblings knew hunger. For my father, to be a man meant you worked. And so he worked. He worked until the day he day he died.
Good meaningful work is a key part of our humanity. But, there’s far more to life than being busy. Work is not the end all and the be all of our existence.
Now, at almost 70 I am taking Thoreau’s admonition to heart I have come to realize that going into the woods is vital if I am to live deeply and suck the marrow of life. The more time I spend immersed in nature, the more alive I feel.
Take time to live before you die. As someone recently told me, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal.” We only get one chance.
Today begins a new era of my life. I start writing yet another a new chapter in my life history.
I awoke this morning for the first time in 35 years not actively leading an organization in the fight to end hunger in our lifetime. Even though I have been moving in this direction for a couple years, it’s still a situation that is going to take some major getting used to.
So, I am starting off the new year and this new period of my life by heading into the mountains for a 24 hour retreat. A little time alone in the woods has always been good for what ails me, and I have too long neglected the practice of slipping away for a couple days of primitive camping on a regular basis. That changes starting today.
I will reflect on this in more detail in the days to follow, but for now it’s time to get going. I’m burning daylight as my father used to tell me..
May all of you have a most blessed 2016, and may each of you do more than ever this year to help create a world without hunger.
O Powerful Father,
Please make me a diligent worker in your Kingdom. Help me not to be lazy or selfish with my time, energy and money. You are a God of action and intervention in the problems and troubles of people. Help us to pattern our lives after your example and become involved in the struggles of our neighbors. Give us the heart to walk into difficult situations and make a difference for hurting people. And make us fully aware of your presence with us at all times. We know that we are weak and ineffective on our own Lord, but with your help and power behind us, we can move mountains in your service. Keep us busy in the joyful labors of mercy and justice. Amen.
A prayer from For They Shall Be Fed, edited by Ronald J Sider