Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rushing from Full Steam Ahead

My Palm Pilot Calendar states it plainly – “No Appointments Today”. What an interesting feeling to have nothing to do. After being driven so long, to be – to do – to get there on time… that feeling now just brushes by my life once in a small while. A fleeting moment of having to do-s whizzes by me and then leaves again.

Yesterday I was visiting a friend and picked up some more wood to carve. I was late coming back and Alida would be waiting on me – so I needed to rush home.

As I drove along I saw the opportunity up ahead. There on the road was the same bridge that I had driven over time and time again – always glancing over the side of the bridge at the smooth clean water flowing along. Then I did it… I applied the brakes and stopped in front of the bridge on the large shoulder of the road. I turned the car off and opened the back hatch. There were three fishing rods – which one would be best?

For the next lazy hour I fished – by myself. I caught a fish every cast. Not big ones – but good fighters. Over an over again the rod tip plunged down to the water’s surface as the little monsters took the worm. I quit when I used up the worms that I had.

When I got home with the big smile on my face – Alida understood. I had gone fishing… and loved it. Supper was not waiting. It was good.

I am now rushing from “Full Steam Ahead” to a much slower pace. It has been 62 days since I walked into the Employment Insurance office with a lump in my throat… and declaring my unemployment. The first day was murder… today it is a delight. I am free and love it.

(Yes – Yes – if E.I. people read this – I have looked for jobs… and got a few – like I reported. But hey… you pay little after all these years of my paying much into the plan… so I have decided I will work little until something better is in place. It has taken me 50 plus days to figure that out!)

We stopped by the Zoo on Sunday AM as we were heading out of town. There in the sprinkler and water park was the happiest person alive. He was a “little me”. I am guessing he was about 3 or 4 years old. He was being watched by his grandfather, I assume. There was not another person in the play area with him. He had every sprinkler to himself and he ran round and round – complete freedom!
He dashed around to try to stop and feel every water apparatus there was. A Boy’s dream come true.

As we walked away I hesitated to stay an adult. I wanted to shed my clothes and run with him – but without a bathing suit and the warning that it was for little kids only… I just watched.

I have decided to stop wherever and fish… wherever and run… wherever and look… and spend some of the best hours that I have left… just being a human being…not a human doing.

Discussing the possibilities of my new possible SEB program with my counselor she stated that I had to commit a minimum of 35 hours per week to the program. I laughed out loud at that one. She looked kind of odd at my reaction. I apologized that I was not laughing at her words – but at my life. 35 Hours of work a week fit into the center of Pastoral Work Week of the last 34 years… it was like a coffee break in my normal work week. I came to see that when I calculated my average work week has been over 70 to 80 hours per week – with no over time.

That is nuts and will not be that way again.

I am rushing from the full steam ahead program to the next river, the next pleasant picnic spot and the next pause that refreshes… I promised Alida that one… and will keep it for myself.

Yes there is a delightful ministry coming up just around the corner as many of my friends know. There is also a Self Employed Business (SEB) opportunity getting ready to launch… but never again will I sell all that I have in order to gain something that is not mine. Because when you are gone – you are only a fading memory… and a slim one at that.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

PS…check out this story…
3900 Saturdays and the Marble Story

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