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Recovering…?

I hit the porch about 6:30 yesterday morning. Whether it was still dark because the days are growing shorter or whether it was due to the heavy cloud cover, I’m not sure. I was prepared to enjoy our visiting cold front, but I was greeted by the same hot, still, and muggy porch. I wasn’t going to stay outside, but Margaret came out, so we shared coffee on the porch. I wiped the beads of sweat forming on my brow and commented that it was obvious the cold front hadn’t gotten to Fort Worth yet. Literally five seconds later a burst of wind from the approaching front filled the front yard with fallen leaves. It continued to blow in from the northwest and the temperature began to drop. My wife smiled and sad, “Ask and you shall receive”. Needless to say, we remained on the porch for quite a while, enjoying our coffee and relief from the last month’s oppressive heat.

It’s quiet this morning and we’re blessed with unseasonably cooler temperatures. I think the air conditioner actually shut off last night; something it hasn’t done for the last month or so. My mood has improved, and I have more energy than I have in the last couple of months. I’m excited about the day. That’s been infrequent during the heat wave. The temperature may be climbing for the remainder of the week, but I’ll make every moment count in the meantime.

It’s hard to believe it’s already the last day of July. When I was a kid, the end of July was a reminder that summer was passing way too fast and school was right around the corner. Today, it’s a reminder that I’ll be sixty this month and time is going much faster than I expected. I suppose sixty’s not the milestone I’ve made it in my head to be. I became AARP-eligible some time back and I already qualify for senior citizen discounts (and no, I’m not too proud to ask for them…).

Sixty seemed so far away to that kid dreading the end of summer and the return to school. I remember when I thought forty was old. Looking back, I used to subscribe to the Grateful Dead principle of “what a long, strange trip it’s been”. Now I just think it strange. It went by far quicker than I imagined.

I’ve been immeasurably blessed to be coming up on sixty years old. For many years I never thought I’d make it to this age. I ‘lived fast and played hard” as the saying goes. It was great when I was younger. It pretty much sucks when you’re older. Things didn’t begin to change until I was in my late forties when I found a relationship with God, as I understand Him.

My definition of ‘church’ has changed a bit, as well. I’m somewhat more comfortable in recovery meetings than I am in churches. ‘Church’ comes from the Greek work ‘ecclesia’, meaning ‘called out’. It’s where we get the word congregation from. I feel more ‘called out’ with self-described misfits in recovery programs than with most church folk. Besides, my minister would freak-out if he heard God and Motherf*#@ in the same sentence…

I mention this because I’ve been thinking a great deal about the last twelve-and-a-half years. In recovery meetings, there is some debate as to whether we ‘recover’ or are ‘recovering’. I’m not going to chime in on what all that means. It’s mostly semantics anyway. I’ve recovered from a hopeless state, but I’m still in the process of growing up so that insinuates ‘recovering’. I’m not sure that’s the word I’d use, though.

As I look back, I often wonder if there was much to recover. My life is so different from anything I’ve ever known that it feels new, rather than recovering something old. I’m not sure there’s much of the old life I want to recover anyway. I know it all boils down to the choice of words and individual understanding of their definitions. All I know is that God fulfilled His promise to “make all things new”, including me…

In a way it kind of sucks to be growing up so late in life. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I’d not had the experiences I’ve had. I like where I am today. Maybe the dark places of the past make it easier to appreciate the light. It’s been my observation that those of us who realize just how much grace we’ve received, appreciate life a bit more than most. “He forgives much who has been forgiven much”. Everything else just seems to fall into place…

So, come on big ‘six-o’. After all, I don’t have to go back to school…

2 thoughts on “Recovering…?”

  1. Laughed my head off at the two contrasting words which your minister wouldnt approve of. Having come from a pentecostal background but having rather left it behind I still struggle so much with different styles of language as we were brought up so not to swear. Enjoyed this post thank you for sharing your porch moments.

    Like

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