The Tests Of Time
“ … and then one day you find, 10 years have got behind you….” (Lyrics from “Time” by Pink Floyd, from the album “Dark Side of the Moon”)
When Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album was new and climbing toward No. 1 on the rock-album charts, I always found that line from its song “Time” a bit humorous. Clearly, I remember thinking, the band members took poetic license in writing those lyrics because there is no way time flies like that. Looking ahead, 10 years seemed way longer than it proved to be.
Pink Floyd released “Dark Side of the Moon” 45 years ago. I graduated from college 40 years ago this month (in May 1978) and turned 62 two weeks ago, on April 28. Unlike many folks, for whom the milestone birthdays fall with decades (e.g., 40, 50, 60, etc.), No. 62 holds the most special significance here because of what it means.
According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, I officially reached retirement age on April 28.
Let me be clear – I’m not going anywhere. I love what I do here, and all of us who work to bring you The Message every week are truly grateful for your support and readership. Early retirement really doesn’t become me.
That being said, reaching “retirement age” truly is significant; it’s a personal milestone that serves as the best evidence ever of God’s blessings in my life.
Dad died at 56. Only one of his brothers lived to – or past – retirement age. Many of mom’s brothers lived past retirement, but I never felt like I had any guarantees.
Dad never met his only grandchild. I have held mine and played with him. Whenever Jenny calls from South Carolina, she puts the phone on speaker so Jackson can hear his Grandpap say hello and ask how he’s doing.
In many ways, it doesn’t feel like I’ve seen more than 62 years’ worth of sunrises and sunsets … thunderstorms and blizzards … 100-degree days and below-zero nights. On the other hand, there are times when I truly feel what those words from Pink Floyd’s landmark album suggest; time does seem to fly, and that flight seems to be faster than ever.
Interesting thing, though; one important element hasn’t changed. Any time I want, I can go to Mass and receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. It was that way when I made my First Communion; it will be that way when I make my next … and my last. Nothing speaks louder of God’s promise of eternal joy and happiness than the consistent, grace-filled presence of the Eucharist.
Regular readers of this space know that I got lazy, as so many do, and spent roughly 16 years away from the Church. The Eucharist brought me back. Through it, Jesus calls me to Mass on a regular basis. Through it, he has me feeling like I did the day I first heard that Pink Floyd song – young and joyful because of what the future holds.
Thank you, Lord … for everything.