Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Birthday Reflections

As of today, I have completed my sixth decade on this earth. I remember, when I was young thinking that sixty was so old. I don't feel that way anymore, except when I get out of bed in the morning.

It's been an interesting journey so far. As a wise man once said, "What a long, strange trip it's been." It's not been a story for the ages, although there have been many moments that were memorable, at least to me. As I look back I see a life that was just a little bit outside of what some would call normal. Of course, what is normal?

Like everyone, I have had highs and lows. I have been married to a wonderful woman for thirty five years now and that union continues to be a high. My two beautiful children are happily married and are making their own way in the world. Looking back I see that my family has always been the best part of my life. I have had good jobs and bad jobs. I have lost good jobs and bad jobs. While I never got what I thought was the dream job, I've always had the sense that I was in the right place, even if I was there in order to learn some lessons. I have had good friends through the years. Some continue as friends, others have been lost and replaced by better friends.  I have been hurt by people and learned to forgive. I have hurt people and I hope they have forgiven me. I have learned from each of them.

I have traveled through the Christian landscape, from fundamental Baptist circles where I didn't quite fit in, to a small Presbyterian church where I feel love and acceptance. Along the way I dabbled in Reformed Baptist, non-denominational, simple, and house churches. I have been fed up with church and ready to call it quits. I have gone from being an advocate of attractional worship that uses music to bring in a crowd, to believing that it is in intimate community that we really are formed into the likeness of Jesus.

As the years have gone by, I have become far less convinced that politics can make lasting change, and far more convinced that being an agent of Jesus' Kingdom is the only thing that can. I have grown less tolerant of those who are convinced that their way is the only way, and that those who disagree are the enemy.

I have traveled the back roads on this journey. I have not been been successful in business, have not built any empires. I have not been named man of the year, or been roasted in front of a large crowd. I'm not famous. Hopefully I'm not infamous. I don't really care about all that stuff. I do hope that I have touched some lives in a positive way, that I have made a difference in a small way, that others have seen a bit of Jesus in me.

Sixty years. It does seem like a long time. But, it's not enough. In many ways it feels like the start, like there's much more out there. Maybe with all the advances in medical science, I'll have sixty more. Who knows?

1 comment:

KC Bob said...

Welcome to 60 Fred. I relate to much of what you wrote.

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