Friday, April 21, 2006

Exit and an Entrance

Reuel Howe was once visiting a very old friend who said to him,

“You know Reuel, I am amazed at how all this is working out. I always wondered what it would be like to die but lo and behold it is not all that unusual. Death has turned out to be an old acquaintance in a different garb.”

He said, “For years now I have undergone experiences like this. From my earliest days I had to learn to let go of some things I had in order to get some of the things I did not have."

"This is what I did the day I started school or left home to go to work, or launched out on a new career. It turns out that I have died a thousand deaths over the years and in all of this I have learnt something – 'every exit is also an entrance'. You never leave one place without being given another. There is always new life on the other side of the door and this is my faith as far as death is concerned. I have walked this way before. Death is an exit to be sure, but it is also an entrance.”

Source: Quoted in John Claypool's fine book, 'Stages' in the chapter on senior adulthood.

Image: Exit or Entrance?

Who is Reuel Howe? Listen to his own explanation given in a lecture:

"I remember years ago listening to a speaker named Reuel Howe. He spoke of being on an airplane and his seatmate asked him, "Who are you?"
Reuel said, "I suppose I could tell him I was an author, but if he hadn't read my books, I would be disappointed at my lack of fame. "

"Or, I could tell him I was a public speaker, even a preacher, but if he didn't subscribe to my way of thinking and theology, we would just end up having some sort of argument."

"So, he turned to the fellow and said, "I guess you could say I'm a pilgrim."
"You mean like one of those in the early settler days who met the Indians at Thanksgiving?"
"No," said Howe, "I'm a pilgrim on a journey."
"Where are you going?" asked the fellow.
Howe said, "I'm a pilgrim on a journey from Birth to Life." I like that. I guess that's a little how I look at this. Is that our journey together? A journey from Birth to Life. Yes, I guess I like that."

Told by Rev Craig Ellingboe on his blogsite which is at:
Thanks Craig!