I’ve been driving for almost half my life.
I’ll probably never again be the best man at a wedding as all of my friends are married with kids.
“Happy Birthday” has been sung to me thirty times, and thirty times I’ve woken up to the Christmas lights glowing bright in the living room on a cold winter morning.
Twenty-eight and twenty-nine weren’t as earth-rattling. But when your roaring twenties come to a definite close and a new decade unfolds, it gives you reason to stop and think.
If I were a clock, the long hand would be half-way through the face.
Immortality is a tough pill to swallow, isn’t it?
Leading up to my personal new year yesterday with my best friend and wife, I’ve had a lot to reflect on. Regrets have caused me to cry in the last week. Achievements came up short, as nearly all of them could be approved upon.
By this point I was hoping to have had a child, to be more mature, wise, and spiritual, and, let’s be honest, to be a best-selling author.
William Wilberforce wept over his missed opportunities in his early twenties, and spent the rest of his life vigorously making up for his youthful carelessness.
Jesus began His official ministry at my age, and He was murdered three years later.
But when it all comes down to it, yesterday’s milestone meant very little. It defined nothing, except that I am very fortunate to be married to the love of my life, and that I still unashamedly ask for animated movies (Monsters University) and children’s books (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) for presents. (Walt Disney said, “Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”)
Yesterday’s birthday didn’t reveal whether I would die at sixty or even make it to the next Veteran’s Day weekend.
My birthday, like all twenty-nine before it, promised nothing.
But like none other before it, it did cause me to pause, and reflect. And upon reflection, I’ve recalled things that I’ve lost, regrets I carry like weights, and unpeeled old wounds I thought were healed.
But I was also reminded of the path that continues to lay before me. Sarabeth and I are just one insignificant document away from being approved to foster to adopt, I have two books written and one published, and Jesus still sits at the right hand of God beckoning me, daily, to come to Him and receive His counsel, His blessings, His discipline, and the rest of the days He freely offers to me as the greatest gift short of salvation I could ever receive.
May I live them well.
And when the spring of my life has frozen over with the icy winters of old age, and I ask Sarabeth to tell me I’ve lived a good life, like the elderly Private Ryan does at Captain Miller’s tombstone, may she affirm that I’ve been a good man.
And in my first breath of Eternal fragrance wafting through the great halls of our Lord’s Kingdom, whenever that may be, may I hear the words echo against the golden pillars: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You may enter fully into my Presence…”