A NEW LEARNING
I see many of the same people each day as I do my morning walk/run. We acknowledge one another. We are each bent on completing the walk, not stopping to talk. At least we are courteous. I often wish I could pull them over and know who they are. As I passed a turbaned man with a long white beard one day, I started a conversation which the two of us enjoyed for ten minutes before I moved on. He told me he has had his beard for twenty years. As a young man he shaved his beard when he began to do a comparative study of the religions of the world. He returned to Hinduism and grew his beard once again. He asked me why I shave and scolded me by saying, "Jesus didn't tell you to shave. You should have a beard." I have been looking for him lately so I can show him my new beard (3 weeks growth now). My wife has always seemed more gregarious than me. She is a sparkplug within a group setting. Over the last long while she has noted how much more conversational I am with people. In fact she questions why I chat so readily now often with strangers, when as a pastor I was reserved with parishioners. She's exaggerating. I spent tons of time with people. Perhaps that's part of the explanation. People were my job, or the main component. My commitments to people and their expectations owned my days and years. I am wired to be a people pleaser. It's a cumbersome enslavement. Oh it was all in the name of Christian service. Truthfully, I am enjoying people more. I appreciate spending time with people, hearing their stories, sharing mine when invited. Blogging is a curious activity isn't it? What audacity to think others are interested in our ramblings. Christine is suspicious of the advisability of me sharing so much in a public forum. I wish I had been more relaxed than I was with people these past four decades. I felt I was always an example on display. A few of us are slow learners I suppose. I can be an example by being myself and enjoy all the people who chance to enter my day and perhaps be a source of some pleasure to them as well. I just called my two grandsons who are crowding four years of age and told them we three guys were going for lunch to MacDonalds. Pretty exciting.