I don’t have a whole lot of it.

Today, in an effort to get out of the office for a couple minutes while the weather was incredible (and to mull over some personal issues), I decided that I was going out to take a walk.  After about 5 minutes of saying “hello” and “good morning” to random Durhamites (a construction worker, two lawyers),  I found myself in the courtyard of Trinity United Methodist Church of Durham.

Who knew that just around the corner, there could be a location so pleasant to just be in? The longer I meandered in their streetside garden, the more I enjoyed being there alone.  It was cool, green, and seemed like it had a lot of history built into it.  In the little garden, kind of tucked away in a corner, there was a small monument made of marble tiles.  Most of them were empty, but looking closer,  I realized they were epitaphs.

One such epitaph was labeled “Charles Ward White, 1919-2006.”

Lessons learned can come in many forms, and this one took the form of a reality check.  As one usually becomes in the memory of those who have passed, my thoughts started turning towards the existential.  It took another man’s mortality to make my theology and reality collide in a rubber-meets-the-road moment.  Who was this man? What was his story? What would he say if he knew what issues occupied my mind now?

I looked him up later when I got back to the office.  Charles Ward White was a Durhamite through and through–son of a Wake Forest law professor, went to Wake Forest undergrad, served in the U.S. Navy in World War II as Junior Lieutenant, came back, graduated from Duke Law School, and served as a lawyer in Durham for 50 years, forming two separate law firms, and serving on the Board of Governors for the North Carolina Bar Association.  Charles Ward White was also an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church of Durham.

I think if he knew my preoccupations today he would laugh at them and call me young.
So today, I too, will laugh at my preoccupations and call myself young.
Tomorrow, I will be one day older–and hopefully, I will be able to trust a little bit more.