I have long believed that benches were intended for old people. Young and middle aged people only use benches for the purpose of a short wait, to be picked up, or to catch a bus, or for a quick breather before moving on. Only old people, I believed, use benches for the purpose of companionship and contemplation.
I am now old and I have the time to stop and sit and stare, and to do so for long periods of time. I enjoy it, especially the benches along the Lake Michigan waterfront. What is so mesmerizing about water and its various movements? Who knows? Who really cares? It is a delicious experience.
Retirement is an exercise in learning how to stop, sease, quit. Let go. Surrender all activity for a time. It's wondrous. I reminisce. I reflect. I wonder. I dream. I hope. I pray. I just look and listen. I listen to the season and the sounds of the lake. I listen to my heart and my soul. I try to overhear what God is whispering on the wind.
I am older. I now have a favorite bench. I would probably smack an intruder upside the head, and tell him or her that this is my own private spiritual property. Well, no, I wouldn’t, but you get the point. This bench is mine, sucker!
Being old doesn't mean I am on my last breath or decrepit. It just means I am getting up in years. I think 70 is a fair point to call ourselves old – or at least mature. I am also not young at heart. My heart feels old. I'm just a guy with some mileage on his body and soul, and I have earned the right to have my own bench.
If you drive by me when I am sitting on my bench, do not honk or wave or draw attention to your Self. I don’t care about your being there. Honest. I have zero need to see you, or talk to you, or know of your presence. I am on my bench, and I am paying attention to the Word, which is expressing itself in everything I experience. Be gracious, and leave me alone!
Reverend William R. Grimbol has spent the past 30+ years helping people create and develop strong spiritual connections with loved ones and God. He is also a published author, with over a dozen books to his credit.