I'm remembering that part of our introductory blurb, about ourselves, on this blogsite is that we are a married couple exploring oneness and equality in the home, church life and all relationships. I wanted to make an entry on behalf of us both to the effect that we just celebrated our 47th year of marriage oneness and togetherness.
When we began this journey we had no idea where it would take us. In fact we were so committed to the eschatological view that things would wind up pretty soon that we made very few plans and had no long range concept of the future. We imagined that we would never see our children, four boys, through to Highschool. Well, that time is long gone. Our boys are grown men with families of their own. Yes, that means that we are proud grandparents and another dynasty is being created. In hindsight it's not all bad that we had the understanding that the Lord Jesus may soon return for his bride, the Church. It provided us with a sense of urgency. We wanted to get on with the job of evangelising and discipling while we still had the time. We wanted to keep short accounts with God, fellow believers and the world in which we found ourselves. There was no time to waste and no time like the present. In our minds, there was no time for academic pursuits either so our theological expertise may have been woefully inadequate but we each had a sense of God's call on our lives and knew that he had gifted us, so why delay our opportunity to serve.
Well serve we did. We had the privilege of finally settling in and serving God in the one church for 35 years, from our youthful years to retirement. It meant, for us and others, that we ministered to whole families through the entire cycle of life, often times spanning three generations. It also meant, that even in retirement, we are still a part of that unique church family and are called upon from time to time to be involved in the happy, sad events in these people's lives. Retirement means for us that we don't have to be up at a specific time every day to rush off to the office, factory, farm or school etc. to earn an income to survive. We are able to plan our days and choose our level of involvement. We are able to build into our program time for exercise, relaxation and spiritual development so that we are fit and well to be able to continue to be useful and congenial to our family and friends.
In the early days of ministry I responded immediately to every call and demand on my time. Sometimes going out in the middle of the night to be present in a church family crisis. Back then I would count the nights that I had at home in a month, not a week! It was tough on Liz but we believed in the value of what we were doing so endured these more stressful times as graciously and considerately as we could. I firmly believe that our boys missed out on my time with them during those years so in retirement we plan to be available as much as possible for family, especially in building positive memories for our 8 grandchildren. This is a wonderful time of life because all of the pressure of doing life and wondering about the future is gone. God has richly rewarded us in both our physical and spiritual families. He brought us together all those years ago and has been with us every step of the way, just as he promised. We are as much in love now as we were back then when we began this exciting adventure with God and each other. In fact, we are probably more in love, in the committed sense, in that we know and appreciate far more things about each other than what we knew when we started out.
It's hard to imagine that in 3 short years, God willing, we will be celebrating a Golden wedding anniversary! God is soooo good.