50 Years and Counting

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50 Years and Counting

The Morning After*

A milestone reached, not a turning point, any curves ahead are hidden in the mist of tomorrows to come, simply a mile-marker, a measure of progress so far. The path to this observation point has been simply this:

  • “one foot in front of the other,”
  • “one step at a time,”
  • “do the work,”
  • “tell the story,”
  • “love God, love people.”

The map has been Psalm 29:1-2, “Give unto the Lord the glory due His name…”

We’ve tried to keep both our hearts and our minds open. God’s will is ever unfolding—

  • a foot-lamp, and
  • a path-light.

Watch and listen. He speaks in signs and symbols with accents and timbres of the voices of brothers and sisters, singers and players in the ensemble of life and ministry. He is the  conductor. Rubato is the instruction in the score, slowing us down a bit sometimes, speeding us up a bit at other times. The chords of life fit the tunes and the counter-lines are exquisite.

Beauty, His signature, is like the sun rising, trekking across the world, setting with a final, lovely cadence to rest through each night with dreams like a lovely moon to entertain us as we sleep.

Rest is also His plan for us.

Even as joints stiffen and muscles complain, the Spirit within pays no attention. Dreams and visions from the Throne above spur us on each morning.

Fates attend those we love, pausing in each their own journey then quickly turning their hearts back to each his/her own road, one we helped them find. We pray our voices encourage them on.

“From the beginning…male and female created He” us.  We two have become one, each leaning on and listening to the other:

  • no curve in the road underestimated,
  • no mountain too steep for us,
  • no valley too deep, and
  • all rest areas considered,

We have had an adjustable love, reflecting our unfolding lives, our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s…and now these surprising years, trusting all the while in our Captain, His grace always sufficient. Tears and laughter take their unpredictable turns with all of them ending in healing hugs.

A sailboat eases its way south, so much more graceful than noisy powerboats. It is connected to history, before fires and fumes pushed the unwilling vessel through hostile waves. Like the sailboat, I prefer the winds, God’s idea, over the noisy, nasty, “improvements” of mankind.

50 years and counting.

Stephen Phifer

Palm Beach, FL

June 9, 2024

*June 8, 2024 Freeda and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in the delightful company of our daughters and their family. This is my reflection on this wonderful event.

 

50 Years and Counting

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