I still remember flying back from my mother’s funeral three years ago. My parents were in love for 42 years and yet were like peas and cucumbers–different as night and day. When retirement came, Dad just wanted a piece of land where he could farm and build things and hole up to read Zane Grey Westerns. Mom wanted to travel, take classes, do all the things they had put off forever. So their compromise was that each followed their dream.
Mom took a modeling class, went on cruises, took up public speaking, visited kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. And when all was said and done, and her life was over, I have no doubt that she didn’t regret one day of her life.
And I remember thinking on the plane home after the funeral: Life’s too short. You may never get rich doing the things you love, writing the things you love, living the way you want to. But making more money is not everything it’s cracked up to be. It’s not worth the worry.
I left Pacific Press to go into teaching 12 years ago. I had a few ideas on writing projects that I wanted to do. Trouble is, few if any of my projects fit into a neat marketing niche, and I knew that getting them published would probably be a miracle.
But I love writing, especially when I believe in what I am writing. I write as part of my job at Southwestern, and they pay me for that–not enough, but something at least. But when I write on my own free time, I know that there’s always that chance that it won’t get published. But I write it anyway–for me, and for anyone else who might be interested.
So what brought on this stream of consciousness? I went to a friend’s Facebook site and saw what had happened at Review and Herald Publishing Association. Apparently there’s been a purge of the excellent line of editors there. Editors who have been there for a long, long time, many whom I have known for several decades. They came to work on Monday as editors and on Monday night they were unemployed.
Hence my title. There are no guarantees in life, not even working for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, or one of its institutions. The only constant is change. When you leave, yours will be just one more empty office, and no more.
What matters is doing what you know is right, living for God, loving your family, and doing what you love.
Everything else is just folly.