Easter reminds me that my race is not yet run.
When I started working, I did not select my career with my Christianity in mind. To be honest, I’m not sure I selected it at all. I had just finished college with a fresh out of the oven degree in English. I was working at my minimum wage college job. I had a brand new husband, who was a full time graduate student. He needed brand new food every brand new day. When the chance for federal employment was offered, I took the job for purely temporal reasons.
That doesn’t mean that, for the 33 plus years I worked, I left my faith at the door. While my job description wasn’t particularly missionary, I believed that God expected me to live a mission. I spent my career purposely, consciously, and genuinely trying to make each decision from a place of goodness and to be a light in the world to the people I encountered. The fuel for that light was Jesus. I often fell short. I was not always a good example or a beacon of Christ’s light. I simply trusted that, when I did succeed in my mission through the wisdom and grace God granted me, the Lord would use that work to let others see Him and His love.
When I retired, I was tired and worn down in my very soul. I looked forward to my retirement as a period of rest and relaxation, my years of work being done. I did rest and it has taken a very long time for my spirit to relax. Now, I realize my work is not done. My workplace is different and the conditions are unfamiliar, but I am sure God still has a mission for me.
I believe I am called, like St. Therese of Lisieux, to live an ordinary life with extraordinary love. There is still some life left for me to fill, using God’s grace, with extraordinary love.
I am writing about reinventing myself in retirement. This Easter season, I have been journeying towards a spiritual reinvention, or, at least, a spiritual reinvigoration. I’ve been participating in a Best Lent Ever program. It is a series of daily email video reflections. It is offered through www.dynamiccatholic.com. You might want to check it out. Even non Catholics might be interested. Really, anyone with a spiritual orientation that includes Jesus, even tangentially, might find it useful.
In working on my spiritual reinvention this Lent, www.dynamiccatholic has helped me remember some valuable lessons.
When I give in to shyness and avoid people, I put my Jesus light under a bushel and miss potential opportunities to provide comfort and extraordinary love.
When I get impatient and rushed, I miss the opportunity to be absolutely present in the moment, to cherish the joy that God gives that moment.
When my heart flashes with irritation and anger, I miss the opportunity to gain understanding and closeness.
Moving forward, I know that I will forget these lessons and will fall short. I also know that God has more lessons for me. I will try to keep an open heart and be available to His teaching, as I strive to be a carrier of extraordinary love.
The real lesson of Easter, though, is that, no matter how many times I fail, I am forgiven. Jesus saw to that.
Happy Resurrection! I know that not everyone believes as I do, but Easter seems like a great time to remind ourselves that reinvention can be sacred as well as secular.
What do you think? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a happy and blessed Easter!