When one door closes, another opens: but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. ~ Alexander Graham Bell*
A reflection by Christina Brennan Lee for July 9, 2023.
The doors of life are as many and as variable as the daily weather.
Admittedly, over the years there have been quite a few closed doors that I have gazed at longingly, regretfully, sadly, even wantonly, and one or two I still peek back at over my shoulder. But I do work at keeping my feet moving forward and my heart and head trying to keep up.
At this moment, doors are closing and opening for all of us in one way or another. My oldest granddaughter and triplet nephews graduated from high school in June and will soon begin college. And, my younger daughter, as of this Monday, July 31, will end her nearly 25-year Army career. She has served in Germany, Kosovo, Iraq, Alabama, Virginia, and at the Pentagon. She was born in an Army hospital at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and has now ended her career where her late father began his, at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. I can brag for days about her accomplishments, just ask me! She’s already looking for a door to open on a new career while enjoying being fully at home for the moment. Please continue to notice and pray for all of those connected to SsAM who are serving in the military.
We were looking at a picture of her this past weekend when she and my other daughter were here. She was in formation at her career’s beginning with the graduation from Basic Training; how long ago that was and yet here we are at an ending.
A few weeks ago when I was in upstate NY for my granddaughter’s graduation, my older daughter had hung all of her school photos from Kindergarten to Senior Year in chronological order on the wall of the dining room. I told my granddaughter to look at that display long and deeply and remember because my paternal grandmother used to say, “The days are long but the years are short.” That photo grouping is a powerful reminder of that wisdom. And who of us of a certain age doesn’t look back and go, “Wow, how did it all go by so fast?”
We are ready to open the door at SsAM.
And, of course, here we are at SsAM ready to open the door to a new ministry very soon, a new way of being “us” and becoming “we” in the beginning of a new chapter. But today, we’re not closing any doors ~ we are simply opening one for Father Jim to a re-started future. We’ll say farewell ~ for a while ~ as he and Cynde move on with the much delayed business of Father Jim being: Retired! We know we’ll see them again in time and that’s a door that will always be open.
It has taken long days and short years to get here. From the first joint service of the Palm Sunday Procession from St. Matthew’s to St. Andrew’s to this moment, as we celebrate the gifts and blessings of the interim ministry of Fr. Jim. We send him off with all best prayers, hopes, and wishes for all the new doors that will open for him and Cynde (especially an airplane door as I hear Italy is calling again). Vaya con Dios, Fr. Jim and Cynde!
*Alexander Graham Bell [1847-1922] ~ as if you didn’t know ~ is credited with inventing the first practical telephone. But maybe you weren’t aware that he was a Scotland-born inventor, engineer, and innovator, and both of his parents were profoundly deaf, spurring his scientific interest in hearing devices and elocution. He developed many other inventions in the fields of optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics, among others. He later regarded the telephone as an intrusion in his scientific work and refused to have one in his study. AND, Bell was a founding member of the National Geographic Society in 1888.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Every week, Christina Brennan Lee writes the Prayers of the People we use in our worship services on Sundays. She also leads weekday prayer services and serves on the SsAM Vestry. Click here to see her People’s Prayers website.