b' God wants us to grow, to unfold, and And one more thingto experience the fullness of life. However,I will continue to ring this bell a bit,this kind of trust is acquired only graduallybut if you are a Christ-follower, whether and most often through a series of crises you like it or not, your life is your and trials.witness. Others are watching howyou live your life.Unwavering trust is a rare and precious thing because it often demands a degree ofIf, indeed, walking with Christ in the courage that borders on the heroic. Whenfellowship of His Church is important the shadow of Jesus cross falls acrossto you, others will noticeyour friends our lives in the form of failure, rejection,will, your family will, your children and abandonment, betrayal, unemployment,grandchildren will. They will watch to loneliness, depression, the loss of a loved one,see how they, when their time comes, when we are deaf to everything but the shriekmake it through this wonderful and of our own pain; when the world around uschallenging time of life. Whether you suddenly seems a hostile, menacing place know it or not, when you step more at those time we may cry out in anguish,deeply into the life of the Body ofHow could a loving God permit this toChrist, you are leaving behind stepping happen? At such moments, the seeds ofstones to help show the way to others.distrust are sown. It requires heroic courageSo then, my middle-aged friends,to trust in the love of God no matter whatthe message is for you toohappens to us. 1 Time to Come Home!It would be easy to give way to a middle- 1Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust (HarperOne: aged spread in our spiritual lives, but the San Fransisco, 2000), pp. 9, 3-4.great opportunity of these years is not to pitch in the towel, it is to jump into the deep end of the pool. Why? Because as Manning suggests, by now (let us face it!) most of us have been worked over in one way or anotherand now is actually the time not to abandon our trust in God, but to deepen it. That simply does not happen without active, engaged participation in the life of the Church.So, well, what does this mean for you?If you are middle aged, as I am now (either on the front end or the tail end!), then you have an incredible opportunity. The opportunities at St. Martins to worship, learn, study, grow and servein and through the Parish are legion.It is not a far leap to quote John Steinbeck here: middle age is often the best of times and the worst of times, and if that is the case, we need the Timeless One to be our companion to help us celebrate the best, and strengthen and comfort us in the worst. 19'