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  • Reverend James Squire

Freedom

Updated: Feb 9, 2021



I was traveling to a meeting at a college in mid Pennsylvania when I became unsure if I was going in the right direction. I called a colleague of mine who was studying in a community nearby to this college and asked him if he could give me directions. He was from the Midwest, had a mid-western accent, and was filled with sayings from living in the heartland. He responded to my request for directions by saying, “Jim, it isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from there.”

I reflect on his words in a different way as I reach an age where it is certainly not the end of my life, but I can see it clearer from where I am at this time in my life.

I read an article written by Jack Riemer that appeared in the Houston Chronicle in 2001, describing the following experience. On November 18, 1995 Itzhak Perlman, the famous violinist, was giving a concert at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Shortly after the concert began one of his strings broke. The sound of it could be heard throughout the hall. Everyone thought that he would stop, but he signaled the conductor to keep on going as he played the rest of the concert with just three strings instead of four. He did this with great passion. The audience gave him a thunderous applause. He smiled and using a humble voice said to the audience, “You know sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much more music you can still make with what you have left.” (Riemer 2001) That is what I am doing at this stage of my life. I am figuring out how much music I have left.

I wonder about how I sought direction in my own life from the beginning to now and how that has shaped who I have become. Have future considerations had anything to do with where I find myself today? I think of the Machiavellian notion that the “ends justify the means”. According to him it is what is in the future that makes right anything that we are doing in our past or present decision making.

So the question becomes “Are we pushed through life by being informed by the past and “watching our time” in the present or are we pulled into the future by future considerations?I believe we are both pushed and pulled in each moment I was traveling to a meeting at a college in mid Pennsylvania when I became unsure if I was going in the right direction. I called a colleague of mine who was studying in a community nearby to this college and asked him if he could give me directions. He was from the Midwest, had a mid-western accent, and was filled with sayings from living in the heartland. He responded to my request for directions by saying, “Jim, it isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from there.”

I reflect on his words in a different way as I reach an age where it is certainly not the end of my life, but I can see it clearer from where I am at this time in my life.

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