Monday, November 6, 2017

To be half a century plus is wonderfully exciting, because I haven’t lost any of my past, and I am free to stand on the rock of all that the past has taught me as I look to the future.

Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet

Gerry and I like to watch a television program on PBS called Finding Your Roots where the host, Henry Louis Gates Jr., takes guests on a journey into their past, uncovering mysteries about those who came before them. It struck us a few days ago as we watched, how one simple choice made by an individual can radically alter the course for generations and generations that follow. This is something I think about a lot, and the program brings it to life in fresh ways.

I ask myself what I want my choices to be based upon, knowing they have the potential to alter the life of a great-granddaughter and beyond. At half a century plus, I bear the scars of choices I made when I relied on my own (lack of) wisdom—as do those I love. I could have done better. Choices I make today will have less of an impact than those I made at twenty or thirty but still: I can do better.

I’ve come to know that my own discernment is faulty. I’m prone to rely too heavily on feelings. I, too often, seek immediate and fleeting relief from pain. Stop, Truth whispers. Ask. Then listen.

It is in the discipline of stopping, asking, and—most important of all—listening, that I find wisdom to walk through the rest of this life in such a way that those who follow might be blessed.

And every time the answer comes it is clothed in love and I know that I know that if we could just get a grip on the truth of that deepest of loves it would change the world. Stop. Ask. Listen.



I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. It strikes me that the steps-the process-you describe are the same steps we talked about in my Ethics class when I was studying for my Theology MA. And in my Spirituality classes. I wonder how often though, we pause in our hectic lives, to slow down and take the time to listen and discern what Love is telling us? Thanks for the marvelous reminder! And just a note—It suspect, although I don’t know, that decisions you make today and tomorrow can have just as much (perhaps more, depending upon the decision) impact as decisions you made several decades ago.

    Certainly your writing is having a huge impact on me, for which I thank you! xoxoxo

    1. Barbara, thank you for your words. I agree, every decision and path taken and not, has the potential to creat ripples the likes of which we can only imagine. Encouraging, yes?

  2. Your blog banner and such is changed. I noticed. 🙂

    I have often thought, “What if I…” had done “this” instead of “that.” But then I wouldn’t be where I am today, and today is pretty darn fine. I made a lot of huge mistakes – huge – but I have atoned for them, and made my life better, I think, because of the mistakes I made. If I had changed anything, I wouldn’t be here, near my grandsons and family, and that’s the most important thing to me. I’ve also done a lot of research on my family, going back numerous generations, and I see where I came from, why they came to America, why they settled in Pennsylvania (coal was king), and why the generation before me went to Delaware (jobs). I’m grateful for my history, my it’s the future I look toward…for me, my son and his wife, for my grandsons. I hope we (America) soon see more love and less hate, more togetherness and less divisiveness.

    1. Your thoughts echo mine, Karen. One of the gifts of having walked a long road is the ability to have empathy for another who follows a similar path. We learn from those paths we chose and reach a hand back to help another.

      And yes, I hope we all see more love and less hate, more compassion and less anger.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.