January 19, 2011

Mid Winter Thoughts

It is now the middle of January, where has the time gone?
After the rush of the holidays, the New Year’s eve party and the great family gathering on the first day of this year we decided that we needed some time to ourselves. We were still involved with the “service project” at our children’s rental unit, with clean up duties and some residual restorative work. The week after Christmas our children form Missouri decided to help their siblings with restoring the apartment which was “thrashed” by the previous renter. An effort which took time, hard work, and money; but was so satisfying in the end.

A quote from the psalms come to mind: (133:1 How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! The Message.) How blessed are the parents who can experience this!

We did get the opportunity to enjoy our time together in relaxation. A gentle but abundant snow kept us snuggled in bed. Our daughter’s 10th anniversary of her 29th birthday brought us together for a great dinner experience. Some renovation in our own hom
e helps justify the expense of new tools. We work well together. We also rest well together. Early in our retirement we needed to learn to limit our daily activities to just that: daily activities. To not let these activities carry over into the evening hours, just to get it done. There is always another day, there are always more projects, but the time you spend with your loved one(s) comes around only once. You use it or lose it! If you lose that time you might actually lose the loved one or lose “love.”

Let me try to explain this a little more: People have asked, when we retired so young, “Why did you give up medicine? Medicine is such a benevolent profession, you could help so many people, in so many places during your travels.” I “gave up” the practice of medicine, because we wanted to do things as a couple.

When we were young and maybe even innocent, we wanted to be together, all the time. Then came the babies, the job, the schools, the moves, the children growing up, and so on, and on, and on. After a time the children left. We were left alone, again, just the two of us. Sure, there is a career and there are many great opportunities for involvement in a variety of activities. Most of these are individual activities, geared to the availability of the worker. I, however; had a great desire to do things together as a couple. Because our life’s situation and direction we had traveled down the path of life, we were able to “retire” from gainful employment at this time. We redirected our focus. We started another
“career.” My third one.

We thought it would be great to “travel for the Lord,” work for food, and support those involved in Christian mission work. Our first mission’s support trip was 10 years ago and we have visited many exiting places in the past decade.

We made many friends, we were influenced by great teachers and many other Kingdom workers. But we did it together, as a couple, a unit if you will. United in marriage by “eternal” vows. We truly have been blessed. This reminds me of a favorite text in Ecclesiastics, (chapter 5:18-20.) We are not wealthy as this world defines this, but our benefits are out of this world.