Musings @ 34,000 ft.

34,000 ft

One of life’s unappreciated joys is being cramped into a coach class airline seat for 7 hours. It provides ‘quality captive time’ to read and ponder … I realize I’m a tad weird 🙂

Sooooo, here I sit with my honey (she’s sleeping) 34,000 ft. above terra firma on our way back from the awesome Smoky Mts. where we’ve just purchased a home we truly believe the Lord provided for us in some truly amazing ways (He always amazes me!)

For the past few months Ellen and I have been praying, contemplating and debating about whether He would have us continue living our ‘Golden Years’ in the magnificent Last Frontier … or, as the years remind our ‘maturely seasoned frames’, perhaps it’s time to move elsewhere as we journey down life’s path on our way Home … or possibly both, i.e. snowbirding.  The inveterate, spontaneous gypsy within has never resisted pulling up stakes and moving on to new adventures.  The logical, methodical modus operandi of my spouse has patiently, and thankfully, checked my wanderlust.

“Of whom much is given, much is required” is a particularly squirmy scripture for this redeemed prodigal. I’ve been richly blessed beyond all measure in spite of myself (I believe that’s called Grace.)  The sobering reality is that our ‘Golden Years’ are not ours to consume solely on ourselves, but His, to be lived out for His glory.

Snowbirding seems like a ‘best of both worlds’ viable option, but Why? … because ‘ole’ birds heading south in winter is an accepted senior citizen norm? … because we’ve capitulated to our society’s ‘More is Better’ mania in a world where over ½ its inhabitants are without a home? … or simply because we’ve weathered our marriages, kids, careers, failures (I’m forever grateful), successes, etc., and now deserve to finally relax in the sunset of our lives … I think not!  Such snowbird justifications will chalk up zero entrance points when we stand before the pearly gates … but Why? … Why snowbird?

As always, God hears and answers each and every prayer, often in unexpected ways (I love it when He does that!)  So here I’m sitting above the clouds (some might suggest that’s where I permanent reside :), mulling over the Whys of snowbirding, and read this story:

A Fortune 500 head hunter was recruiting (polite terminology for swiping) corporate executives from other firms and, well, I’ll let him finish:

I was interviewing this fellow the other day and leaned over, looked him square in the eye, and asked him a question I’ve seen many top executives fall apart when asked, ‘What’s your purpose in life?’ Without blinking an eye he replied, ‘To go to heaven and to take as many people with me as I can.’ For the first time in my career I was speechless”.

Wow! … therein lies the admittedly somewhat uncomfortable answer to my Why? … the Why of staying, of going, of snowbirding … the ultimate Why? of living life itself that needs to be honestly answered and pursued.

Not exactly a thunderbolt answer from above, and I pray I’m not rationalizing, but the thought was sown … snowbirding offers two different opportunities to interact with people which can hopefully help point them towards glory, for His glory.  Doing so will always remain the challenging part, requiring all His help, wisdom, and prayers to accomplish.  

OK, the Smokies are far behind us, the Chugach range just ahead, and our pilot has just informed us we’ve begun our descent into Anchorage.  Any and all snowbirding advice is appreciated and welcomed as Ellen and I turn the page on this new chapter in our lives … wonder how many pages are left to turn?  🙂

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