Monday, June 22, 2009

when i grow up, i want to be like Mom

My mother turned 89 last Friday, and how did she celebrate this special day? She became a member of Facebook! Yep, she joined that ubiquitous, perhaps insidious, social network that allows you to connect with long-lost friends, past neighbors, high school and college classmates and become friends with folks all over the world. And knowing my Mom, she will soon have more FB friends than I could ever hope for.

It really shouldn't surprise me that this is how my mother celebrated her birthday. After all, she has always been trying out new things, learning new ways, meeting new people, discovering new places. When she remarried in her mid-50's, she took up golf, and became an addict. She divides her baseball loyalties between the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs, wearing out remotes switching from game to game. She became adept at computer skills, surfing the Net like a 14-year-old. She was ordained an elder in the Presbyterian Church the same year I was ordained as a pastor. A lifelong Anglophile, she headed over to Britain in her 70's.

She is a constant reminder to me of the Biblical truth that when it comes to God's job description for being a child of God, there is no retirement age, no gold watch handed out, no rocking chair on the front porch. God is always challenging folks, of whatever age, to go to new places, meet new folks, take on new challenges, learn new ways of being and doing, discovering that gift-seed that God planted so long ago and is now ready to blossom.

From Abe and Sarah leaving the retirement center in Haran to travel to Canaan, to Moses turning in his resignation to his father-in-law to return to Egypt, to Hannah, Hosea, Deborah, Paul, Phoebe, Barnabas, John on Patmos, and down through all the centuries, God keeps prodding us, nudging us, encouraging us, asking us to grow, to blossom, to serve, to live as God's beloved children. My mother is that living example of one who continues to step out in faith, in new and exciting ways.

But if she starts Twittering . . .

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

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