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Reflecting on my Working Life

Sunrise from Officer's Mess, RAAF Base, Glenbrook.I sometimes feel old and past my use-by date! Now that I have retired from being full time in the Air Force, I have a little more time to think and reflect. I look back at a working life spanning over 40 years, three distinct careers (hospital pathology, parish minister and military chaplain) and 17 house moves, it is not just the years it is also the mileage! Each job has had its unique pressures and tensions, but God is gracious and I survived and grew through each challenge. On one level it seems like yesterday that I started my first job at Balmain Hospital in Sydney with youth and enthusiasm (in 1973), but on another level it seems like a lifetime, because so much has changed, not just me but the world!

The fact is it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, there are times when I meet young people who seem old and old people who seem young. How come? Age is not about years, it’s about attitude! What matters is the state of your mind and how you look at the world. You probably already know that, but someone has put it like this:

If you’ve left your dreams behind,
If hope is lost
And all ambition and fires are dead,
Then you are old.

But if from life you take the best,
And if in life you keep the jest;
If love you hold
No matter how birthdays fly,
You are not old.

Did you know that Francis Chichester sailed around the world solo at age 64?
Winston Churchill became Prime Minister at age 65!
At age 76, Cardinal Angelo Roncalli became Pope John XXIII.
I’ve got plenty of good years left (if God that is God’s plan) to make an impact! What about you?

Don’t let years or wrinkles stand in the way of your dreams! You are never too old to change the world! Being a reservist at Headquaters Air Command at Glenbrook and DEOTS at Orchard Hills initially looked easy but it too has it’s challenges!

Chaplain Ian S Whitley.

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