This week I have been attending the Festival of Wisdom & Grace, which is sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association of Older Adults. This event is held annually at the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center in North Carolina.
Lake Junaluska is the notable site of the headquarters of the World Methodist Council, a consultative body linking almost all churches in the Methodist tradition. Beginning in April and lasting through the fall, the United Methodist Church hosts many events here for people of all ages.
Lake Junaluska is located in Haywood County and is known for the 18 mountain peaks that measure over 6000 feet each — no other county east of the Mississippi has more. As I neared my destination for the conference I was overwhelmed by the breathtaking views of the mountain range.
As a former Pennsylvanian it is a sort of homecoming to be amongst the mountains once again.
Savannah and the local area have a history of Methodist tradition. John Wesley, known as the founder of the Methodist movement, came to Savannah in 1736 at the request of James Oglethorpe.
Wesley saw Oglethorpe’s invitation as an opportunity to spread Christianity to the Native Americans in the colony.
John Wesley had three simple rules that he lived by: do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God. The rules are simple but the “way” is not easy.
I was invited to the conference as a guest presenter to share my thoughts on aging and wellness. Being a Methodist all my life, it was important for me to bring my beliefs and my experience together in a way that would outline what I feel is an important recipe for living life.
The result has been a positive presentation that has both motivated and engaged our older adults into action. It is always a good feeling to hear people say, “You’ve inspired me.”
So what is my recipe?
The following is a synopsis of my presentation and the five ingredients I feel are important for living life well.
The first ingredient is to keep close to God.
The story of Jesus visiting with Mary and Martha is the backdrop for this key ingredient. Mary worshipped at the feet of Jesus while Martha was busy with the details of cooking and cleaning. Martha was disturbed at Mary’s reluctance to help in the kitchen; but Jesus was clear that Mary had discovered what is most important. In short, one must be like Mary first in order to be a better Martha. Involving God first in every aspect of your life will help you be a better you. As one begins to experience the “fruit of the spirit”, your life recipe becomes rich in flavor.
The second ingredient is discovering your purpose in life; which can change over the course of many years. A life without purpose has no meaning. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”.
The third ingredient is movement. Our bodies were made to move. How can we press-on with our purpose if we are not able to stand up to the physical challenges of life?
The fourth ingredient is reaching out to others. There is no better way to cure one’s own ills than to help others who are suffering.
The final ingredient is clearing your mind. Finding quiet time is important to reclaiming your brain.
Peace be with you.
Rich DeLong is the Executive Director of The Suites at Station Exchange.
Contact him at 912-531-7867 or visit him on the web at www.thesuitesatstationexchange.com