Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Social Security Eligible

I turned 62 yesterday and became Social Security eligible, even though I hope to go quite a few more years before I start drawing on that. A bout of vertigo over the weekend precluded delivering my message or even participating in Sunday’s worship, except as a telephone listener. Elder BJ Austin read my manuscript. The juxtaposition of vertigo and this birthday are reminders of personal frailty and limitation.

Last night Candy and I had dinner with Erik to celebrate my birthday. Ponytail gone and sporting a buzz cut, Erik was excited to tell us about his healthy eating and physical exercise habits and about how well the semester seems to have started. He seems to be on track and motivated to graduate in May. I think I got more joy out of listening to him than marking the passing of another birthday. In some ways, they both seemed to be milestones in the rising and passing of generations.

I certainly don’t feel ready to “check out” – a few more years of pastoring this congregation and hopefully a “retirement” ministry of pastoral care, spiritual formation and writing. Witnessing our boys living substantial maturity is immeasurable joy, and now we can see that taking shape in Erik. Of course, none of us are done. I intend to keep growing as I round this bend in my journey.

When the vertigo knocked me out of commission Sunday morning, Candy jumped into action. She made the phone calls to get people in place to keep worship going. She left the message with the doctor that got me in for an appointment on Monday. She kept my Mom and her Dad up to date. She made the dry toast and plain, weak tea to tease my stomach back to trying something that evening.

We’ve often commented on what a team my parents had been, and took considerable satisfaction from Rachel’s ambition that she and David could be like that after 50-60 years. In January we will mark 40 years of marriage. This weekend was just a little assurance that we are on that same intimate teamwork path.


Lynn said...

There you are. I was hoping to see a photo of you and it was nice to see your family too.

Norman said...

I haven't had too many comments here. Glad you could get a look at our life.