Shaped by God
Wednesday, April 5
Donna McCoy, member of RPC since 2014
Jesus says, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever... the Spirit of truth." - John 14:16-17
One of God's gifts to me is that I have been fortunate throughout the years to have exchanged Christmas letters with my college professor and mentor, T. William Hall and his wife, Ruth. I had my first comparative religion class with Dr. Hall as a freshman, and continued my graduate studies with him at Syracuse University. That is where I met Jack, so of course Dr. Hall married us in a ceremony in my home church in Augusta, KY. For the next forty-eight years, we had the privilege of reading Bill's and Ruth's letters of lives well-lived, letters of thoughtful enchantment with life, even its highs and lows of existence. Their words of wisdom and guidance have been one of the enriching experiences of our lives.
I have had a tough time turning seventy years old. There is just no way that you can fit that into the middle-age spectrum. I was not ready to sit in the rocking chair yet, but I find I am still a very good volunteer, and I am involved in many enriching experiences. In a writing, when Bill was ninety-five, he admitted, "At eighty it seemed that no future years could again be filled with enchantment." But he went on to fifteen wonderful years filled with love of family and friends, study, writing, poetry, and a heightened spiritual journey. At Dr. Hall's ninety-fifth birthday celebration, he had this to say, "As I grow older, my passion for knowledge about religion has shifted to a more inward spiritual quest... Life has become simpler, but I have more soul-enriching memories. I am trying to listen and see more and in some rare moments, I feel I am connected to everyone and everything in this mysterious universe. And, I am thankful."
Bill didn't live to have a 96th birthday, but he was teaching and inspiring others to the very end of his life. I am listening and inspired by this life lesson, and I am trying to incorporate this attitude into my own life story. Jesus said he wouldn't leave us alone, we had the Holy Spirit among us. I believe the Holy Spirit moves between us and can be communicated through the spoken and written word connecting all of us, so we are shaped by God.
Lord, help us to feel through the Holy Spirit our connectedness to everyone and to your mysterious universe. Amen.
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