The Knight Errant is back…after an hiatus of wandering to and fro on the earth, campaigning for justice, slaying dragons and rescuing fair damsels in distress. 🙂 Ah, it’s a rewarding life I lead.
One of the benefits of getting old is knowing yourself and coming to grips with it. Dianne read about a marketing study done by an ice cream manufacturer. They actually can tell who you are and target you for marketing by knowing what flavor you prefer. For instance, Dianne likes pralines and caramel. I like cookie dough. She read that her choice suggests she is a person who is more likely to be loving, supportive and prefer to avoid the spotlight. My flavor says I am a person who is more likely to be ambitious, competitive and a visionary. We guffawed loudly. How can this be? They are so right. If you’re curious about yourself, you might want to follow this link.
In this stage as a senior, Dianne and I have made significant changes in life style. We’re seeking a new “rhythm of life.” Knowing ourselves is part of this pursuit to find our proper rhythm. We’ve moved out of our home and voluntarily become homeless. We are living in 3 worlds, splitting our time at our cabin in the mountains, our home in the city and trekking for Jesus in ministry in Europe. Let me explain what I mean when I refer to a new “rhythm of life.”
As I said, getting older, I know myself much better now. I’ve learned certain lessons in life. One such lesson is to value the right things. That’s not to say I do it 100% of the time. But choices must always be made. So on what basis do I make those choices? Seems choices are made for 2 reasons. 1. what is required of me by others, by circumstances. 2. ultimately by what I value. The object of my affection is the choice I make to pursue.
The new rhythm requires downsizing. Having to downsize was a choice of value selection. Having downsized in 2 stages, the first being done, I’m on the path to seek a new “rhythm of life.” The process of selection with the goal of reducing life and the possession of things, has created the recognition of what is basic and germain to my existence. I choose to select elements that I will maintain and let others go. These become the basic elements, the essential ingredients of how I live life. And the process of choosing forces me to hold on to fewer of those elements I once thought necessary to life.
Forty eight years of marriage and collecting the stuff consumerism seduces me to obtain, ultimately produced many layers on top and around my inner core. Over time I began to believe it’s those things I must maintain. All this has produced a rhythm of life I’m tempted to believe I cannot live without. The process of downsizing forces me to consider a new reality…one which I discover is a new rhythm. It’s a rhythm that’s reduced in the size and amount of stuff and the time I devote to maintaining it. It’s a rhythm that’s slower paced, the blessing of which is inner peace, tranquility and the focus of joy; the joy the Holy Spirit wants me to have, the joy he will give me.
There is an unintended consequence to making the choice(s) to downsize. The right choices provide a serendipitous blessing; that blessing is the opportunity to respond more freely to what God wants for me. In my new rhythm I find the joy of his abiding presence.
My challenge then, is to find this “rhythm of life” and live within it. Sorry to say I still have to work on it. But I’m trying, and when I do I’m finding it rewarding…worth the effort.
I’ll come back with some more thoughts about all this next time. I’ll present a definition for you to ponder. In the meantime, take the challenge to consider a new rhythm for yourself.