The holidays are over. My January class is complete, and I am ready to begin again with The Gift of Years. This book made such an impact on my life when I read it with a peer group that I decided to give it to some dear friends. I don’t give it to you because you are old. I don’t give it to you because I think you need it.
I give it to you with great hope that you will be released from burdens in life as God reveals to you the blessing. I give it to you with great love to know that naming and sharing burdens with one another is one of the primary ways God uses his vessels of grace. We are to bear with one another.
I wish I could give everyone the book…but that’s just not possible. If I didn’t physically give you this book, I give you the recommendation to get this book and join us on this journey. We are taking it slowly… one topic a week.
My prayer is that you will find wisdom in your years as you experience each topic. With wisdom comes the knowledge of Grace that redeems you. And this is a gift like no other.
You will know yourself better at the end of the journey. Which means you will also know God better at the end of the journey. And, if you are willing to take the risk, you will also know your neighbor better at the end of the journey.
So get over the fact that we are all getting older. Joan Chittister wrote this book at 70. She wishes that someone had given her the book at age 50. I turned 50 this year, and I couldn’t agree with her more. The sooner in life we see how God turns our burdens into blessings, the more healing we receive now, the more joy we experience now, and the more complete we become…now.
Don’t let the world tell you what you need. The answer lies within you. Don’t be afraid to wrestle with each topic. This is can tell you from experience, if you don’t stop into the ring, you won’t learn what God has for you now. You might get it later. But, why wait?
These are the topics we will encounter together as we seek the meaning and purpose of life one topic at a time:
REGRET (Yes, right off the bat!), MEANING, FEAR, AGEISM, JOY, AUTHORITY, TRANSFORMATION, NEWNESS, ACCOMPLISHMENT, POSSIBILITY, ADJUSTMENT, FULFILLMENT, MYSTERY, RELATIONSHIPS, TALE-TELLING, LETTING GO, LEARNING, RELIGION, FREEDOM, SUCCESS, TIME, WISDOM, SADNESS, DREAMS, LIMITATIONS, SOLITUDE, PRODUCTIVITY, MEMORIES, FUTURE, AGELESSNESS, IMMEDIACY, NOSTALGIA, SPIRITUALITY, LONELINESS, FORGIVENESS, OUTREACH, THE PRESENT, APPRECIATION, FAITH, and LEGACY
Joan Chittister says in her introduction, “Life is not about breathing only. Life is about becoming more than we are, about being all that we can be.”
As we breathe together along this journey, may we be surprised with the life we find in the most unexpected places.
With a grateful heart,