Thursday, April 16, 2009

It’s my birthday today…39 years old…one year away from the strange 40 and not knowing exactly how to feel. My life is about as demanding as it has ever been. I know this pace is not good and I know that I need to set better boundaries of priority and definitions of success. What did I do with the past 39 years? Am I where God planned for me to be? Has my resistance and disobedience to God’s plan put me way off track? What legacy am I leaving to my kids? What kinds of things must I do to be the husband my wife deserves? Have I grown as a pastor? Do the people I shepherd feel loved and does God’s love flow through me? 39 has brought more questions than answers. I have reached the tipping point and realize I’m no longer looking forward to getting older as I just might have more years behind me than I have in front. The time to “get it right” is shrinking and there’s no time to goof off and say, “Some day I’ll get serious.” My kids are growing up; I’ll have a real teenager in a couple of months.

I do have comfort in the eternal God that loves me. He knows my mistakes and departures from his plan but in all of that he still loves me and still gives me opportunities to do that plan today. I may not be able to go back and restart or do over, but I do have today. I can make a choice to be a great dad today. I can love my wife sacrificially today. I can preach like each week is my last sermon each Sunday starting now. I can love others the way God loves me, right now. For God knows the plans he has for me.

I will embrace 39. 39 years of learning what I should not do. 39 years of missing the mark. 39 years of not being serious about my humanity and taking for granted that I have an infinite number of years ahead. 39 will be my year to realize that I may not have the years I thought. I will choose today to be happy and not wait for this to pass or for that event to resolve before I will step into contentment. I chose today. I am 39 and I will embrace the year.

Thank you God for my family, a great wife, real friends and a loving church. You have given me so much. Help me live to my full potential in you! Thanks for 39!