The Becoming

This is me, doing my own “becoming…”

To my friend the Poetess, with whom a three-hour conversation seems way too short…

Mid-fifties seems to be an interesting age. Or so it seems to me, having been perched in the absolute center of mid-fifties for a few months now.

There’s the obvious stuff: Only 10 years to Social Security (which, more and more, seems to mean “the all you can eat cat food bar…”), you now have to be on the lookout for the places that start offering the senior discount for us youngsters on the senior set, and you really do start to wonder if *insert name of whichever drug is being mentioned on whichever commercial* is right for you.

My doctor, the Zena (Warrior Princess) of the medical world, albeit a whole heck of a lot taller, would say, “No. No, it’s not right for you. Stop watching those commercials, and DO NOT go to their website for more information. Now get up on that exam table before I bring the hurt.”

I love my doc.

Anyway, the ski lift of life has dropped you at the top of the hill, slammed the door behind you, and is preparing to deliver a swift kick, sending you flying down the slope with only one ski, no poles, and all the grace and poise of a young Jerry Lewis…

Without the talent, comic timing, or mad skilz.

But it’s not all bad…

A good friend and I sat down for a short three-hour conversation. We graduated in ’77, from the well-loved Oscoda High School, where the mighty Owls pelt the opposition with the fury of their droppings.

Let’s see YOUR school mascot bring that kind of punishment. HAH!

And we were talking about how many folks from school have connected with us on Facebook, and what a strange but cool thing that is at this stage of our lives. To our surprise, (Mine, anyway… the Poetess is a much kinder soul than I...) we seem to desire those connections, even welcome them, where perhaps we wouldn’t have years earlier.

And those connections aren’t just about shared experiences, but go beyond – where people we know are now, where life has taken them, and the kind of things they have learned along the way.

We’re all becoming.

“Huh?”

I, in typical Calbert style, mentioned that maybe the reason we all seem more open to connecting with each other, is that we’ve had a lot of the dumb knocked off of us over the years, a lot of the pretense, and a whole heap of the attitude, leaving us a little wiser, more aware of grace received, and more willing to extend that grace and love to others.

We’re all becoming.

“Ah… Um… Wait – what?”

We’re more able to connect with others, because we’ve become more open in these years. Some of us have been through deep and horrid waters, bringing their lessons of wisdom and endurance, and some of us are right in the middle of those currents. Some of us, one very recently, have fallen from our number, and are missed. And some of us have learned that the regrets we’ve been carrying all these years are useless weight, so we finally get rid of them and find freedom in the process, freeing us to share that light with others.

We are becoming.

And really, isn’t that just a small glimpse of the life of faith and trust Jesus calls us to, when He says, “Follow me?”

(Especially the bit about having the dumb knocked off us… I speak for myself here…)

I was thinking (and the Poetess mentioned this too) that it’s sad this place in our lives didn’t arrive sooner – the openness, the freedom, the grace and caring. But, we both admit, the view from the age of “double nickels” is not really possible back in your thirties or forties. Maybe it’s a fifties thing, or perhaps it’s different for each one of us. Some of us arrive at this place a little sooner, some a little later, and sadly, some might miss it altogether.

You have to drop a lot of stuff to have your hands free and open.

I do think in our walk of faith, though, that it can arrive a lot sooner. The Word of God can do a lot to “knock the dumb off,” and fill that empty space with wisdom, love, mercy, and grace. If we open the Bible, really get into it and pay attention, that is.

Me? I’m a slow learner. It’s all pretty much arriving right here in the exact middle of my fifties.

I’m becoming.

And by God’s grace, so are you.

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