Posted tagged ‘being 61’

Being An Old Rookie

February 3, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       February 3, 2016

                                         

    I’m thirty-four days into my retirement after thirty-six and a half years in pastoral ministry. People have asked me several hundred times what I’m going to do? The answer to that is still being filled in, but I’m beginning some new endeavors.

Last week I was asked if I would be interested in being the interim pastor at a church a good drive away from where we live. My answer: “Not yet!”

What I have done so far in the first thirty-four days is spend a good deal of time with my ten month old granddaughter, learning how to change a diaper again, how to feed a baby, how to carry a baby in one of those baby carriers you wear, and finding out that going to the bathroom for someone who is watching a baby can only happen at certain times…so shake a leg quickly!

I’ve also officiated several basketball games for youth leagues. That experience has brought me into contact with some good coaches, and other coaches that I wouldn’t let my grandkids get close to. Last Sunday afternoon a minute and a half into one of the games I officiated I stopped the game and had a little “Come to Jesus” session with one of the coaches. He got the message that the fear of God was close at hand, and didn’t say another word to me for that game except to call time-out.

I’ve visited four different churches on Sundays and enjoyed the different experiences. More than that, I’ve had four Saturday nights where I’m not thinking about what I’m going to say in the Sunday sermon.

But perhaps my most adventurous new exploration is that I’m beginning a new career as a substitute teacher. What!!!!

Tomorrow I’ll go to observe in a classroom for the second time. The first time I observed in a couple of high school classes. Tomorrow I will observe in a couple of middle school math classes. One of them is Algebra. Maybe I’ll learn something, because it really didn’t stick the first time around when I took it…46 years ago!

In essence, I am a sixty one year old rookie. I face the unknown with excitement and hesitation. I remember how we treated substitute teachers back in the day. I’m sure we drove some of them to positions of employment with the elderly! We were insensitive brats trying to get anyway with anything we could. My fear is that I’ll encounter the great-great grandchildren of a couple of those teachers who know the criminal history of my high school days with their ancestors.

In my defense…I have no defense. It is just what we did.

My hope that the sins of my past school behavior will not come back to haunt be is rooted in the fact that I am already a coach at the two schools I will substitute at. But I also recognize that I am an old rookie who may be a bit gullible. When that first student says that “a + b= z”, I’ll say “Sounds good to me!” When that first spit wad zings past my head I’m not sure how I will react. When chalk dust is put on my chair and I sit down in it with my dark pants on I may become disoriented and bright red in the face.

You may be saying, “Those things will never happen!” I hope you’re right, because those are things that I did to substitute teachers when I was in school. The sins of the past…

I just want to get past the first day. Last week at a basketball game I was coaching, my wife heard someone from the other team say “Their coach is chill!” I’m not sure what that means, but she said it was a compliment.

I hope I am chill in the classroom the day when I get the 5:45 A.M. call. I can hear it now, “You have a substitute position today in…middle school Latin.”

Oh great! I’m going to teach a subject I flunked!

Feeling My Muscles…In A Bad Way!

November 22, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                       November 22, 2015

                                       

Our youngest daughter…our baby!!!…Lizi moved with her husband, Mike, from Albuquerque to Colorado Springs this weekend. Carol and I psyched up our 61 year old bodies and helped them load up and unload the U-Haul truck. We were more than happy to do that! This morning we are feeling every box…every piece of furniture…every floor scrubbed…and toilet cleaned! (Okay! I didn’t clean the toilet, but I did use it!)

We helped them get it done…and now will gladly help pay for Two Men and A Truck to help them with their next move, whenever that is!

God gives us muscles to get things done, and sometimes he gives us older muscles to remind us there are certain things we should no longer do.

Today I’m feeling what is left of my biceps. I don’t remember this feeling when Carol and I were moving into our first home back in 1979, or when I moved all of my possessions into my seminary apartment all by myself.

Today my lower back reminds me of our closet door that squeaks every time you open or close it. The squeak sounds strangely like it is saying “Leave me alone!”

My feet feel like they’ve run a marathon! the best thing I can say about my neck pain is that it let’s me know it is still there.

My fingers hurt! My eyebrows ache!

I’m soaking in muscle ointment!

But that’s okay! You do things for family and friends that border on lunacy. I’d much rather move a couch than decorate a cake. I’m prefer moving china rather then going on a shopping trip to buy it.

Coincidentally Carol and I signed our wills Friday morning. In case I dropped the china as I was dropping dead we were legally clear as to what was to happen. Comforting thought!

Today is Sunday…a day of rest and Ben Gay! Two days from now I’ll return to the illusion that I’m twenty again!