Alas, this post is not as interesting as you naughtily think.
One of the nice things about being as old as I am1, and having friends and relatives who are equally old, is that after many years we have perhaps found whom we love, what we like, what we’re good at, where we fit, how we contribute. It’s nice and a pleasant change from all the earnest efforts to learn and earn and gain respect and find a place. Six decades of labour, one decade of rest, of settling down into a space and portion. Perhaps. Surely if we ever get to feel that way, we are among the lucky ones.
For those of us trying to do Christian discipleship, however, it leads straight into another snare: loving our place, our home, our competence perhaps, our way of contributing–more than loving Jesus himself.
He did warn us about this, and I think it is a common enough experience for many that he takes people like us, the product of many years of answered prayers and undeserved blessings, and gives us a good hard prune, stripping us back.
At the time, the only bits of ‘good hard prune’ that we feel is the single word ‘hard’. Perhaps we only get to see the ‘prune’ and the ‘good’ long afterwards. Everyone’s experience is different, but perhaps the outcomes are similar: the taming of ambition. A fresh realizing of the power and importance of love. A contentment with the large or the small.
Even just to begin down this road though … lovely.