This past week has been yet another time in my life when I learned how really insecure I am meant to be, even with all the safety nets I try to arrange to avoid falling prey to misadventure. I am in life’s fast lane fraught with all kinds of potential dangers and nasty surprises, with little chance of stepping out unless I want to hang out in the illusory comfort of a retirement home where everything is laid on. Even then, as I have witnessed recently in my visits to these palaces of entitled ease, there is anything but a sense of personal security, what with ailments, alienation, and diminishing capacity. I have determined that where I feel most secure and happy in this world is out there where people like myself live tenuous lives to the fullest, knowing that is the only way to true joy. I like people who take the odds God gives them and make something positive of a threatening situation. There is my friend, Richard, who is fighting Stage III colarectal cancer with special light chemo to knock back the tumor in order to give him a chance to recover some of his former vim and vigor. It gave me no end of pleasure to see him out lawn bowling the other night, satisfied that he had gotten through ten ends without too much fatigue. Then there is Bob, another buddy of mine who, at eighty has been told that his prostate cancer is in remission after lengthy hormonal and radiation therapy. Over coffee, yesterday, he told me how excited he was about being able to go on living with a clean bill of health, even though there was no guarantee that the cancer wouldn’t come back. Yes, we all live in a shadowland but that shouldn’t prevent us from stepping out into the sunshine and enjoying its warm rays. To reinforce this point, I am watching this morning the docudrama, “The Letters”, on the life of Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. This is the powerful story of an Albanian nun who traded in the relatively cossetted existence of the cloister for bringing hope and succor to the very poor of India. It seems that every significant thing I attempt these days comes with a message that I should not expect a safe and preferred outcome. Just the other day on the bowling green, our triples team was in a very important district match. We were down 9-1 in the fifth end, having very little success with weight and line, and suffering the indignation of the curse of the jack (moving in the wrong direction). What an empty feeling but for the fact that each of us knew that once we started to read the grass properly, the game would turn in our favor. That happened in the sixth when suddenly I started rolling to the jack and my partners followed. Once again, this reversal of fortunes proves to me that when we commit to a course of action and stop getting down on ourselves, the insecure becomes the secure and Godly confidence starts to flourish. That doesn’t mean that everything will suddenly become right with the world but, at least, it gives us a chance to expand our borders by taking calculated risks, reaching out to others, and discovering meaning in weakness regardless of how inconsequential it may seem. My old friend Katrina passed away the other day at the grand old age of ninety-three. To say the least, the last twenty years of her life were plagued with all kinds of problems involving family, health, and financial. None of that, I am led to believe, ever got in the way of being a very loving individual who was tirelessly devoted to making an important difference in the lives of others. What she did for me, nearly fifty years ago when I was in dire straits while my parents had moved to a distant part of the globe, I will never forget. She and her husband took me in even when it wasn’t financially convenient for them, and allowed my life to move forward.