Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An Every Day Question

In a book of sermons, Frederick Buechner, tells us of his return to Princeton University for the 50th reunion of his graduating class. He remembers a classmate who upon graduation day moved up and down the line of graduates asking each one, "What are you going to do now?" The author confesses to being too shallow with his quick answer and then writes, "The question now, of course, is what did we do with rest of our lives, and that is more unsettling still." But, it is only a bit later in the sermon that he comes to the really unsettling question, "What are you going to do with the rest of your life?" Of course, as he points out, we do not know if the "rest of our life" is defined by a few years or many long years.
At this point in my journey, it became a question that fits the definition of being unsettling. After retiring from a lifetime of ministry, it is an easy thing to simply say, "Well, that is finished." And maybe it is. Actually, maybe is not the operative word. Ministry as I have known it for nearly forty years is finished. But, there is also this "rest of my life" which is before me for whatever season of time it represents.
We come to many such moments when we find ourselves asking the question about the rest of our life. It is not an uncommon question when significant change challenges us to move into a future made new and different. It is the question of retired folks, folks with new jobs, newlyweds, people who face life threatening illnesses, the death of loved ones, a move to a strange place, and a host of other life circumstances. In reality the question, "What are you going to do with the rest of your life?" is for everyone, every day.

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