Burrows Continues Active Role

Choosing between Integrity and Despair

by Robert Docter –

On entry into retirement, all humans are confronted by the choice of a life with integrity or a life of despair. Most of us seem to end up somewhere in between. Among those entering retirement in recent years from an extremely important, prestigious and powerful position is General Eva Burrows (R). In a recent interview, she observed that … “The first General Eva (Booth) was 69 when she became General and 73 when she retired. I’m not even at her retirement age yet. I’ve got lots to do to catch up to her.”

Growing older is inevitable, Burrows said. You can’t do anything about it, but you can do a lot about your attitude toward growing older. Attitude is everything–staying positive about life–continuing to be active mentally–staying in shape physically–choosing to combat the greatest modern social disease of loneliness by being involved socially–and continuing to grow spiritually.

“I like to diversify my interests. I don’t limit myself simply to the Army. I enjoy concerts, the opera, the library.” She added that she currently is a member of the Board of Directors of three major foundations. She serves as a governor of a foundation designed to help the poor in the Asian-Pacific area by working to form cooperative efforts between Asian-Pacific countries and banks. She also is a member of the Board of the International Bible Society which publishes the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, and is the Board Chairperson of ANSVAR, an insurance company where all profits of the company go to assist youth in taking a stand against alcohol and drug abuse.

“For me in retirement, my spiritual life is greatly enriched by time focused on prayer,” she said. “I have more time now, and, through prayer, I’m developing a closer relationship with God than ever before. Although I keep very busy, there is no substitute for prayer. Intercessory prayer is a wonderful ministry. I have a prayer pattern that involves the entire world, and I stay informed about contemporary issues and situations so that I can pray intelligently.

“Age is not something to fear, ” she observed. “Someone said, ‘you’re not as old as your arteries, you’re only as old as your attitude’.”

During the past year Burrows broke her leg in an accident. “I realized that I had much to contribute, and I would not accept that a few bones could stop me. With much discipline and determination along with responsible medical attention, which I obeyed, we are now at a point where very shortly, they can take the metal out of my leg. It’s not bad, as well, to have a high pain threshold. Giving in to pain too early is counter productive. I learned this in my life as a missionary where I discovered it is possible to rise above physical conditions and the environment. I don’t hate comfort, but discomfort is not a problem.”

Burrows engages in a daily regimen of physical exercise. “It’s not overly strenuous,” she said, ” but I hit every muscle in my body every day. We must find a way to do this if we are to stay physically fit.”

Burrows indicated that it is also important to stay alert mentally. She does this through reading–both on spiritual and recreational topics. She constantly amazes people with her memory of people’s names, even of people she meets rarely from distant parts of the globe. “I don’t dislike television,” she said. “I find it mentally stimulating. But l am no ‘couch potato.’ Since I’ve retired, I’ve learned the computer. I have email and learn much from ‘surfing the web’.” She noted that a young Australian Salvationist keeps her on track with the computer and he tells people he goes “surfing with the General.”

“If we fail to have a mix of physical activity, mental stimulation, social involvement, emotional awareness and spiritual development in our lives we will fossilize. Personally, I don’t intend to allow that to happen.”

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