Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The right side of history....

Two posts in one day? Something just caught my eye. I am a very busy retiree, with a voluntary chaplaincy, two small paid chaplaincies, being chairman of the local Night Shelter Trust and doing lots for the local Presbyterian Church. I sometimes think I am too busy for my own good. There seem to be lots of people willing to give me advice telling me to "stop", "take time for yourself" "you only live once" "take care of yourself" "come play bowls."  etc. etc.  I think about this carefully. What could I do? Go tramping? Join a club of some sort? Take up a hobby? Go on old peoples' bus trips? Do some art? Have a fancy and tidy garden? Every time I ponder it seriously I find myself saying, "No! That's not for me." Ultimately deep down, I am sure I'd be unhappy. Just to imagine spending my time finding things to entertain me, seems even repulsive. I will try to fit some of those in, but I could not make them a high priority in my life. There is still a need for service on the Night Shelter Trust. When I think the Trust is really firmly established as a group, I'll take a backward step, but just now there's a need I can fill. There's a need for caring ministry and guidance at the local Church. I know I am bringing encouragement to people there and changing perspectives. If I buried myself in other past times I would feel like I was not pulling my weight, not answering some deep inner call. 
Tonight I saw the photo below and the caption and it rang bells somehow, though I would not rate myself with such an icon as John Lewis. 
John Lewis's arrest picture, Jackson, Mississippi, 1961. "Even though I was arrested, I smiled because I was on the right side of history."
I am busy, probably too busy for my own good at times, and sometimes it is annoying and sometimes I want to yell, "But I am retired!" But deep down, I know I am still making a difference for good in my community.   While I still can, it feels like the right thing to do.  If I knew I was to die tomorrow, I'll know I did my best, in my small way, to leave a better community and world. If I spent my time just entertaining myself through retirement, I'd feel like I was not really living a fulfilling life and just waiting to die. I feel like I am "on the right side of history" no matter what others say.

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