On Becoming Yoda
My middle age is over and I stand at the gate of the last leg of my journey. When I was younger, I wanted to climb the mountains before me and reach the top. And now, here I am—some mountains climbed, others attempted, and still others glimpsed in the misty distance. I find myself reflecting on what has passed, and what is to come. So, what have I done?
I’ve worked for others and worked for myself. At times I now do both, through servant leadership, feeling called to help others in whatever way I can, whether by leading or following or just serving.
I’ve been a son, a brother, and a husband. I’ve been blessed to come from a great family and to be able to form a family of my own—in reality, where family is concerned I won the lottery.
I’ve learned about friendship, through friends who blessed me with theirs for reasons not known to me. These companions on the journey are changed by the passage of time, right before my eyes. Keeping company with them—that’s a good thing.
I’ve been a father, and now a grandfather. The simple moments with my grandsons, like teaching them to play chess, and riding with them to catch more Pokémons (whatever those are) give the greatest pleasure.
I am a witness to other people’s journeys. Watching my parents and in-laws relinquish the strength and vitality of their younger years has been tough, but also a chance to extend corporal acts of mercy.
This probably is the hardest thing to do, because of the sadness that comes from seeing their diminished faculties as they walk the long retreat at the end of life. Yet facing the sadness is the right thing to do.
Through it all, the unifying thread is caring for people. Not all of us are equipped to do this well, since it requires so much work and commitment over and above the chaos we are already dealing with in our lives. But I’m sensing opportunity here, and all I can say is “Bring it on!”