The Dread of Mileposts

Looks like I drafted this 11 months ago but never posted it! It’s strangely prescient. Soon after I wrote these words we were plunged into a collective housing and financial security crisis as victims of fraud and regulatory negligence.  With fellow survivors, we are campaigning towards the conclusion of a heroic journey marked by drama, tragedy, comedy and startling revelations. Vindication, restitution and prevention are the boons we seek. Onward and upward!  

There is something about mileposts – or way markers – whichever one prefers. Passing them can mark an exhilarating achievement or bring to the fore awareness of a looming background of existential dread. For me, this year marks 40 years of soul partnership in marriage with Jenny, 45 years since ordination as a Churches of Christ minister and 70 years since being born onto this beautiful and challenging planet. There will be celebrations, but I look over my shoulder and perceive the black clouds of failed ventures, broken dreams and unrealised ideals. The numbers 40 and 70 have spiritual significance in our ancient sacred texts. They signify liminal spaces, unfamiliar borders between what was and what is to come. Hence the children of Israel cross into a Promised Land after 40 years in the wilderness, honing the temperament and culture necessary for the transition from slavery to nationhood. Jesus emerges from 40 days of wilderness preparation for world-changing ministry and mission. Notional borders are crossed. 70 years, of course, is the biblical span of years allotted to us (80 if you’re worthy), marking the nearness of the liminal space we traverse from this life. It’s right to mark the dread, and wonder if it might instead be awe, the apprehension of something far bigger, wilder and all-embracing of anything we’ve ever experienced. 

Published by wonderingpilgrim

Not really retired but reshaped and reshaping. Now a pilgrim at large ready to engage with what each day brings.

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