I have a small bookshelf designated for books that have changed my worldview; they are like small monuments that mark moments in my history that define who I am and how I think. They are books that, if you were to look at the titles, you would say, “Oh, that’s why Rick’s thinks the way he does.”
Lest I convey the impression that all are deep, philosophical and intellectual treatises, the cartoon, “The Treasury of Calvin and Hobbes,” is one of those books. So is, “They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?”, by Patrick McManus. I have my reasons.
Recently, I added this one to that shelf: “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,” by Fr. Richard Rohr.
He springboards off of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung who said, “One cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be of little importance in the evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening become a lie. —C. G. Jung
This is a timely book for me because of two significant events in the past year that have caused me to pause and contemplate the important things of life. First, is the passing of one of the most faithful friends I’ve ever known – Mike Lemke. Mike found out he had terminal cancer and invited me to walk with him on his journey home, to heaven. Sitting around his hospital bed in his home, telling stories of the past, strumming my guitar and singing old hymns, and leaving each time with the understanding that, while I was there, his primary desire was to encourage me in my life. Wow.
The next was the passing of my only remaining brother, Kelly McNary, who died a horrible death from Covid. I was there in the ICU room with him on several occasions before he passed and was there, with him, when he passed away. I wrote this about him.
I turned 62 this year and am the same age my Dad was when he passed away 36 years ago. In the wonderful busyness of life, this year has made me take inventory of where I’ve been and where I’m going.
In a nutshell, Rohr talks about “the second half of life,” and what that means to our journey in this world. It’s not necessarily written for people of a certain age, but having reached the point in life where I’m automatically given senior discounts, it has been timely for me.
If you want to take all the stuff you learned in the first half of life and make a difference in the world in the second, then this book is for you.
If you read it, I’d love to know your thoughts. This book would be in the top 10 books that have impacted my life. I hope it is yours, as well.