Last night, Janet and I went out to a local place we have never visited to partake of half-price burger night. What was special about the evening was that it was a terrific night to eat outside, it wasn’t too busy and we were able to sit and talk about our lives on the eve of our 44th wedding anniversary – which happened today. We thought about our rehearsal dinner and where we were 44 years ago – and all the people who were part of our lives then, and to varying degrees, are still a part of our lives today – even if it is through social media. Of course, that wasn’t even a remote possibility back in 1973 when Janet and I were married.
We have gone through many seasons of our lives. We have spent time in five different homes around Chicago; and then another four homes in Carmel, Indiana where we moved back in 1982 – less than 10 years into our storied tale. We have raised three children and have four grandchildren. We have had our business ups and downs, finally selling our company in 2000. Janet and I decided that I should attend seminary and I spent close to ten years, almost full time, doing graduate work and finally getting my doctoral degrees.
We have had lean years and “fat” years, been abundantly blessed and have been involved in the community. We have started a ministry called Chaplains at Work that provides financial counseling and career transition support in central Indiana and we have packed quite a bit of living and loving into the last two score plus four years. But things are changing…
Not only are the kids gone – our grandchildren are growing up fast and our oldest one, Connor, will be driving before we know it. It seems that in the blink of an eye, generations have passed away, including all four of our parents as well as aunts and uncles, and new generations have been born. Technology has accomplished things we didn’t even dream of way back when and our iPhones have more power in the palm of our hands than the entire computing power available to Nasa when they put people on the moon. Life is unbelievable.
So after such an exciting life together, things are changing and starting to slow down. I guess you could say that I am partially retired and starting to enjoy kicking back a little. Janet still sees her friends and leads her life here – and I am trying to discern the next steps for my life – something we are working on together as we are both affected by our joint decisions. It’s always been that way with us. Perhaps I will take up piano again, as I did when I was in high school. Or maybe do a little more fly fishing… but one thing is for sure, we are not going to stop living life.
Another thing that has helped us throughout our lives is our faith in God. And we have not been disappointed. So now, as in the past, we will depend on Him to determine His will for the next chapter of our lives – what our “new normal” will be. What we do know is that it will be different from the past and we must be willing to embrace a quieter, less hectic – and probably more introspective, future. One thing is for sure. We will cast our burdens on Christ. Our verse for this evening affirms that Jesus is ready for the task. We are told, in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
My encouragement tonight is that Jesus wants to walk beside us through all the stages of our lives. And we won’t be disappointed in submitting to His will for us. My prayer is that you will be committed to your earthly spouse and that you will also learn to be content when the time comes that you are faced with accepting a “new kind of normal.” Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…