Monday, October 22, 2007

Fare Well

Farewell my friends. No, don't worry. I'm not ending my blog or going away on a long trip. I'm just going out into the world today, and so are you. It's a bit rough out there. I hope today is good for you. So I'm wishing you well today. I'm taking my cue from the apostle Paul who wrote, in conclusion of his letter,

"Finally, brethern, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." 2 Cor. 13:11

Farewell. May it go well with you. My son would particularly enjoy it if I reduced all my love and my instructions for him, into one little phrase, such as fare well. It would save him a headache, and me a lot of verbal rehearsing of what is going on for the day- our family's schedule- only to have him tell me at the end of the day, "I don't remember you saying that." Men.

This morning everyone left, fairly on target for the day, equipped with lunches, sports uniforms, cell phones, homework, and oral instructions as to who was finishing work or practise at what time and who would be getting picked up by whom and where. Once everyone leaves, then it's just Harry, our dog, and me, the hum of my computer, the sound of the washing machine going, and during this week, the fans on in the basement because we had a tiny leak again and the carpets got soaked. Bill is drying it all out again, found the leak, repaired it, and is on top of it all. I'm so thankful for a husband who is my 24 hour a day handyman as well. There isn't anything he can't fix, I don't think. I'm a happy woman.

I'm at peace. I'm looking forward. I have a hazy, distant memory of past mistakes and problems. (Some things you should not try to remember so distinctly- let them be a dull memory). I have an expectation of good, and that's healthy.

But it's also a bit dangerous. It's like you have a target on you when you're happy or when you're experiencing a bit of success. There's a running undercurrent of competition, jealousy, and ego that is a mainstay in much of our world- in so many areas. It's so rare to have someone root for you. Maybe they'll kindly cheer you on if you're stumbling around and looking haggard. But if you're doing well, if you're taking on a bigger challenge and smiling as you do so, will you find those champions of your dreams out there? Is there anyone "big" enough in heart and joy who will cheer you on- even when you're already doing well? Some don't like it when things go too well for you.

My husband, Bill, met a guy, once, when he was working on a remodeling project in a nearby town. Bill started talking with this guy- a large man of italian descent- because he seemed so genuinely interested in my husband's plans. My husband was sharing how he had just completed a small subdivision of land. We owned a couple building lots, at that time. It was a first, for us. We were attempting to progress in our Real Estate investing. We had to- because this is how we were trying to make a living, after having left the pastoral ministry.

Bill shared what he was hoping to do next. This guy looked at my husband in the eyes, smiled, and said, "Good for you!!" Bill felt so touched that this man wished him well, cheered him on, congratulated him on his bit of success. My husband came home and told me about what this man had said to him, and how he said it. My husband said, "I want to be like him.I want to make sure we always do that with other people- because we know how hard it is to go after your dreams."

This man could have knocked my husband down a few notches and said, "Well don't be so sure you know what you're doing." Or he could have rehearsed how hard life is and how we don't get to always live out our dreams. He was an older man, after all, and he could have used that against my husband. But he didn't. Instead he was glad that my husband had fared well, had accomplished something, had a fighter spirit left within him.

My husband and I can hear his "Good for you!!" still. It rings out when things seem against us. It springs up in our memory when someone has been unkind or hostile to our hopes and dreams. It cheers our soul. And I smile just remembering that day when three little words made my husband feel like a man who could conquer a mountain- or at least like a man who had a friend who wished him well if he tried to do so.

Fare well, today, my friend. I mean that. And if you're already doing well, then I hope it gets even better for you today. And if you land that job, get that raise, get invited to tour, receive a promotion, go out on that long awaited date, get your art in a show, get hugged by a child who says you're the best mom in the world-

then I hope you hear me calling this out to you today: GOOD FOR YOU!!

That about says it all.

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