There’s more to Norbert/you/me than our lamenting. We’re also hopeful folks, whose insistent searching also keeps us positive. Today a postscript that might move us beyond mourning about the future.
Those of us who are older may find our insights, our work or ourselves sidelined or shelved. Giving in to mournful outlooks doesn’t help much at all, so many of us have figured out ways to keep the lights burning, the torches lit and our cherished legacies moving forward. The primary motivation: What we know, what we can do—all of that came to us because someone passed on to us their knowledge, skills and attitudes. We owe them—like we owe the future—our gratitude about what we’ve inherited.
Two interrelated approaches can put laments to the side, honoring our abilities and know-how: Strengthening institutions and enterprises that help carry forward God’s will, and fostering relationships with individuals who will do the same.
For Chris and me presently, those enterprises and institutions include involvement in our local congregation, and political campaigning. Our efforts to keep our church vital and effective include visible and behind-the-scenes efforts, tangible gratitude for the ministries of our pastors and staff, and participation at worship and events. In the world outside the church, we’re engaged in political campaigning and serving as election judges—key factors that can strengthen democracy.
At a personal level, I try to convey—sometimes fiercely—what I believe and know to be true, righteous or helpful. I work at nurturing the skills, wisdom and mission of those who see me as a mentor. In conversations, I don’t hesitate to witness to God’s good news, using language that’s approachable and real. I maintain an active correspondence with friends and colleagues who remain in their careers, learning from them what’s fresh and essential. Wherever possible, I proclaim hope and promise for the future.
This is how–with Norbert (and you)—I hope to keep lamentation in its place!
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