I plan on dying

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We are planning ahead.  Retirement.

The retirement age is going up.  We are all living longer – all dying later.  Which is a problem.  Paying for it I mean.  The government is expected to pay us a pension in return for our contributing to the government all our lives.

But the payback is a balancing act.  Too much and budget problems, too little and insurrection problems.  Because my contributions are not paying for my retirement – they are paying for those already retired.  And when we retire those still working will pay for us.  And there is an increasing number of “us”.

But then the stats become meaningless.

Another call telling of another loved one planning for no future … planning day to day only … to get through this … to beat this …  to never give up hope whilst there is breath left in this failing body.

Mrs Paul and I each have the same tattoo: “Inhale the future – exhale the past – live in the present.”

My theology has become simpler.

I cannot prove God or any of that stuff … cannot prove the bible or whether any of it actually happened … cannot prove eternal life or whether I need to tick any boxes to qualify … But I do know eternity … do know unconditional love … do know kindness … do know never giving up on someone … do know safety … do know living in the moment … I do know that loving myself only works when loving others and when loving something bigger – something connecting us all.  And I have less and less time for arguments between theologians.

Does it really matter if God has gays in heaven (other than if they make me squirm with their dirty sex)?  Does it matter if God welcomes us all to heaven (other than I think I have earned it and so should you)?  What purpose is there in deciding (for God) who God will (and will not) let in?   And does it even matter that there is (or is not) a heaven in the first place?

“Inhale the future – exhale the past – live in the present.”

Someone said to me once that a long-term relationship with a spouse is like having many relationships just with the same person. I think that person is wise. Because a long-term relationship is a series of phases and waves and troughs and deserts and bounty.  It is a journey with the detours and blind alleys and wondrous vistas and perplexing complexity and single-minded holding each other tight. Even when you want to be as far away as possible.

My theology has become much more of the moment.

I care less what will happen “after” and much more about today.  I care much less about me and much more about others.  I care much less about “stuff” and much more about “love”.  I see less and less crap and much more potential and hope.  Have less time for this “sinful world” theology bandied about by the weary awaiting the Second Coming – bollocks!  Less time for this “male and female” theology about who is head of the house and who is not – bollocks!  And no time at all for this “who you can sleep with and who you can’t” theology still prevalent and still so very toxic – bollocks!

“Inhale the future – exhale the past – live in the present.”

More and more (as I allow) I meet kindness … vulnerability … forgiveness … excitement … hope … ambition … selflessness … love … unconditional love … connecting love … love unspoken in words of love … love that is of being rather than doing – of being rather than belief – of being rather than construction.

A simple and simplistic love – of and in the present.  So much stronger than “social media” can undermine … than “news” (fake or real) can ever convince no longer exists.

It is the mind-set, I think, of those who are staring death in the face. Who have stared death in the face.  Who still live through loss.  Who value life.  Those who know the limited value of “stuff” compared to the great value of kindness.

I hope to have many years ahead of me.  But I will no longer waste time arguing with you (or you or you) about “stuff” …  Like whether the bible is or is not … whether science should or should not … whether I have been saved or not … whether I can say bollocks or not … whether I can love you or not …

“Inhale the future – exhale the past – live in the present.”

It’s about love.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

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